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Landslides, floods and climate change

Due to climate change, the Mekong Delta is one of the most vulnerable areas in the world. The rainy season brings more floods, while the dry season brings more droughts. Farming is becoming increasingly challenging due to the loss of land, rising sea levels, and water loss from upstream dams. As a result, many of the 17 million delta inhabitants are considering moving to cities. The Vietnamese authorities are testing new agricultural technologies, creating more fishing grounds, promoting fruit cultivation, and building airports and highways to attract foreign investments to the delta.

Between 2007 and 2020, the ground beneath New York, Baltimore, and Norfolk, Virginia, sank by 1 to 2 mm per year, while in Charleston, South Carolina, it sank by as much as 4 mm per year. This subsidence is linked to groundwater and natural gas extraction, as well as the weight of buildings pressing into soft ground. It increases the risk of flooding from rising sea levels.

According to scientists, the construction of a dam in Iran contributed to a landslide that destroyed Hoseynabad-e Kalpush village in the spring of 2019. The accumulation of water in the dam raised the local groundwater level, making the soil on the nearby slope more mobile. As a result, the old landslide was reactivated. In Germany, the extraction of sand from the seabed to rebuild the coastline after winter is damaging underwater life and disturbing nesting places for birds and other animals. In the long term, this practice increases the likelihood of coastal erosion and landslides, which are already increasing due to climate change.

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