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Bangkok is sinking at an alarming rate

Parts of Bangkok flooded badly in 2011. The city may be sinking more rapidly than previously thought. (Philip Roeland/flickr/cc)

 Bangkok is an exhilarating feast of exotic sights, sounds and flavors. It’s also sinking — and as Patrick Winn reports for Global Post, Thailand’s capital may face peril more rapidly than previously thought.

Bangkok rests precariously on marshland that’s still moist and spongy below, the article says. Previous estimates found that Bangkok was sinking three inches (7.6 centimeters) a year. Newer data suggests the rate is closer to four inches (10 cm) annually. Some environmentalists warn that parts of the city could be under five feet (1.5 meters) of water by 2030. In 100 years, it could be completely submerged.

Despite the dire predictions, Thailand’s rulers have largely ignored the issue as they focus on shorter-term concerns. But severe flooding triggered by monsoons serves as a stark reminder of Bangkok’s plight. “A nasty storm can suddenly turn Bangkok’s streets into gushing streams,” Winn writes. “Sewers overflow, taxis churn through fetid water and, occasionally, kids can scoop up displaced fish.”

There are two solutions, according to Global Post. Erect a massive seawall at a cost of US$3 billion, or move Bangkok to higher ground. 

Global Post

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