The disappearing act of Maldives

The devestation after the 2004 tsunami and the effects of global warming put Maldives at some very pressing difficulties.

The damages after the 2004 tsunami were catastrophic – two thirds of the country disappeared momentarily into the Indian Ocean, and when the sea withdrew, it took 62 percent of the country’s GNP with it.

Electricity, communications and freshwater supplies on many islands were destroyed by the saltwater.

The country is poor, with around 40% GNP coming from tourism, a share of tuna fishing, but otherwise it is totally dependant upon foreign aid and loans. If it (or when it…) comes to the final frontier, who can they count on to be saved from being washed away by the rising ocean? And what would that entail?

Is that what Maldives can expect to face when global warming takes its toll, and the grim scientific forecast materialized as the world’s seas rise by as much as one meter within the next century?

Erosion is constantly eating away at the vulnerable atolls, and climate change is already palpable in the shape of more rain and more disease-carrying mosquitoes.

The next step would be to elevate the islands artificially by two to three meters, and to build solid walls along the coast safeguarding the islands against the tide and storms.

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