Special Report

28 Amazing Places That Could Be Underwater by 2050

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11. Huế monument complex
> Site: Huế, Vietnam

Three catastrophic floods in a row struck central Vietnam last year, and the area will almost certainly be badly affected by rising seas. The city of Huế, on the banks of the Song Huong River, risks seeing its complex of monuments — including temples, palaces, and fortifications — disappear beneath the waves. The complex, according to UNESCO, “is a remarkable example of the planning and construction of a complete defended capital city” in a “setting of great natural beauty.”

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12. Citadel of Quaitbay
> Site: Alexandria, Egypt

Founded by Alexander the Great, who named it after himself, Alexandria was the site of the magnificent Pharos lighthouse — one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. A series of earthquakes beginning in 956 AD eventually destroyed it, and in 1480, some of its stones were used in constructing the landmark Qaitbay Citadel, considered to be one of the most important such structures on the Mediterranean. Imposing though it may be, this historic monument could sink beneath the seas by 2050.

13. Mozambique Island
> Site: Mozambique Channel, Mozambique

Connected by a causeway to the Mozambique mainland, Mozambique Island was once the colonial capital of Portuguese East Africa. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, with beautiful beaches as well as impressive colonial-era fortifications, churches, and other structures, it will almost certainly sink beneath the waters of Mossuril Bay within the next 30 years or so.

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14. Lower Manhattan
> Site: New York, New York, USA

The southern reaches of the island of Manhattan, especially the area below Canal Street, could well become an Atlantis of the 22nd century. A record-breaking storm surge during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 flooded part of the area, including subway stations, and while there are projects under consideration to build barriers against the rising seas, these may come too late (or not at all). City Hall, Wall Street, The Battery, Chinatown, South Street Seaport, and many other definitive parts of the city could be lost.

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15. Buddhist temple district
> Site: Bangkok, Thailand

The bustling Thai capital, with a population of more than 10.5 million, has long suffered from land subsidence, slow-sinking ground surfaces caused primarily by groundwater extraction needed to supply water to the city. Subsidence has made Bangkok particularly vulnerable to the frequent flooding common to the region, and contributed to coastal recession as the rate of sea level rise in the Gulf of Thailand continues to increase.

Many of the city’s most beautiful and historic Buddhist temples are clustered around the Chao Phraya River that snakes through its center, and could be among the first features of Bangkok to drown.