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Fleeing one flood-prone area for another

Dhaka, Bangladesh floods in 2004. (dougsyme/flickr/cc)

There’s a cruel irony to the mass migration of poor, rural Bangladeshis into Dhaka, one of the most crowded and impoverished cities on the planet. Many are “environmental refugees” streaming into a metropolis that’s flood prone, Kenneth R. Weiss reports in Foreign Policy.

Dhaka and the rest of Bangladesh are on the front lines of the battle against climate change. A three-foot rise in sea levels would leave nearly one-fifth of the country under water — and displace about 25 million people. By midcentury, up to a billion people worldwide could face disruption and possible evacuation due to floods and other climate-related woes, the article says.

Yet thousands of migrants arrive each day in Dhaka, many of them fleeing storms and other natural disasters that ravaged their villages or farms. The influx places more people under risk of rising tides in a city already prone to power outages, brownouts and sewage backups.  

Foreign Policy

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