Bangkok Is Sinking, Experts Say That Most Of Bangkok Could Be Underwater By 2030

Thailand's government has been critisized for their handling of the recent floods, prompting the ruling Pheu Thai Party to set up a committee to study the possible relocation of the capital to another province less prone to flooding. Experts believe that flooding will be a more serious problem in the coming years. Bangkok is located on a natural floodplain, and the city is sinking at an average rate of 20cm per year. It is believed that unless serious steps are taken, parts of the city will be completely submerged by 2030.

Smith Dharmasaroja, the head of the National Disaster Warning Centre, is predicting that by 2100 Bangkok will be completely underwater. Dharmasaroja's forecasts should be taken seriously, in the 1990s he predicted a tsunami that would affect countries around the Indian Ocean, a decade before the 2004 tsunami that devestaded South Asia. One of his proposed solutions is that the government build a series of dykes along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, a plan that would cost Thailand over $2bn. He says work should start immediately, otherwise it will be too late to stop the chain of events leading to an impending disaster.

The government's proposal to relocate the capital inland to nearby Nakhon Nayok, could be seen as a willingness to sacrifice Bangkok. Instead of spending money on battling the rising floodwaters and preventing future floods, the government seems to be focusing on a plan to bail out of Bangkok. Without a committment from the government and a proposed solution to prevent future flooding, it would be foolish for foriegn investors to invest any money in Bangkok in the near future. Residents of flood affected areas in Bangkok are furious with the response from their government, and they might be ill advised to spend any time and money rebuilding their damaged homes, in light of the fact that the government has no clear plan to prevent future flooding.

Relocating the capital is likely going to be a tough sell to the citizens of Bangkok, who make up the largest percentage of registered voters in any of Thailand's 77 provinces. If the current government fails to find a solution to prevent Bangkok from sinking, they will likely see thier chances of being re-elected sinking as well.



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alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Sadly, many governments are already taking this tact of abandoning waterfront settlements. I know here in Southern California, one of the coastal communities has decided to abandon one of its beach parks, including the seawall, greenery, paved paths and restroom building, as indefensible against rising sea waters. They're not even going to try and relocate the park further inland, because they think that's just delaying the inevitable. Voting this Up and Interesting.


cashstudent101 4 years ago

In regards to the current gov not getting re-elected if they abandon Bangkok to the floods you must have missed the fact that the current gov got elected mainly on the rural vote most of which do not care if Bangkok sinks or not. just take a look at the videos of the rice farmers refusing to allow the water to be let out into the rice fields to ease the flooding in Bangkok.

Not to mention the fact the next election will not see Bangkok in much worse shape than it is now.

As long as the current gov pretends like it cares about the poor and has thaksin's support they will most likely continue to get re-elected.


TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 4 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia Author

@cashstudent101,

I have seen and heard the reports you are speaking of, and I have taken them with a grain of salt, as I view them as politically motivated media propaganda from pro Democrats. If the current government lasts long enough to see an election, it will only be the second time in history that that has happened in Thailand, the only other time being during the rule of Thaksin.


cashstudent101 4 years ago

I guess that all depends on how Thaksin plays the game this time. If he messes with the Military too much then you may be right.

However my comment was in regard to Bangkok sinking being the reason the current gov may or may not lose the election and my stance is that they do not have to worry about that scenario for at least two reasons. 1) the sinking of Bangkok is so far off in the future that it will have no bearing on the next election. 2) Thaksins supporters are not concerned with the welfare of Bankokians. I suppose your hypothesis that Pheua Thai may not see another election based on the history of governments not lasting the full term could be the third reason.

As for the media coverage of peoples rice fields flooding being part of a pro democrat media campaign all i can say is the that may be the purpose behind the media coverage, but the anger from at least some of the people is true.


jerseys4kids.com profile image

jerseys4kids.com 4 years ago from Vancouver / Bangkok

@cashstudent101,

I hear what you are saying, Bangkok isn't going to sink over a few more years, however if it floods again next monsoon season.. The goverment in power will have a lot of angry people on their hands. Looking back at history, ruling governments are never actually voted out, they are removed from power. Thaksin is the only PM in the history of Thailand to have served a full term and see another election, and we know how that ended.. he didn't get voted out, he got thrown out on his ass..

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