Rising seas threaten 20 million in Bangladesh

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DHAKA, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Rising sea levels, triggered by global warming, will displace about 20 million people in low-lying Bangladesh, a study by a state-run think-tank said on Friday.

"The sea level will rise at least by three metres (yards) submerging some 18 percent of the country by 2050," the Dhaka-based Institute of Water Modelling (IWM) said.

IWM was set up in 1996 for planning and management of Bangladesh's water resources and to monitor rise in sea level and its probable adverse effects.

Bangladesh would need $4.16 billion for building embankments and forestation to secure inhabitants from rising seas, the think- tank said.

"Only embankments with deep forestation along the coast and coastal rivers can protect millions of people," it said.

The existing embankments should be raised up to six metres to protect the coastal villages from being devoured by sea, the study said.

Bangladesh has said it would need $10 billion from big polluting nations to help it adapt to powerful storms, floods and rising seas.

($1 = 69.17 taka)

(Reporting by Nizam Ahmed; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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