Bangkok is Sinking

Bangkok, home to some 14 million people, could be underwater in the next 15 years thanks to a combination of sinking land and rising global sea levels.

Bangkok, much of which lies at an elevation of just under 5 feet above sea level, already is sinking at a rate of 2 centimeters (about 0.8 inches) every year. Should it continue at this rate for the rest of this century, by 2100 Bangkok will be fully submerged and unlivable.

This sinking is accelerated by the sheer number, size and weight of all the buildings pressing down on the land all around Bangkok.

  • There are about 700 buildings with 20 floors or more and 4,000 buildings with 8-20 floors in Bangkok.
  • There are also many electric railways. These could cause the submergence of parts of Bangkok and surrounding areas in the future.

The Thai Solutions, Fight against Nature or Not:

  • Relocation of the capital will have to be considered, especially if development continues unabated and groundwater continues to be pumped from underneath the city.
  • Construction of a seawall to protect the greater Bangkok area from rising seas, estimated to cost about 500 billion Thai baht, around $14.3 billion U.S. dollars.


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