Santo Domingo Among Cities Most Vulnerable to Rising Sea Levels


Above: Santo Domingo from space (NASA photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Rising sea levels could mean catastrophic effects for the Caribbean, and Santo Domingo is one of the world’s most vulnerable cities in that regard, according to the World Bank.

The Bank published a report this week finding that Santo Domingo will be one of five cities most affected on a global level by rising sea levels in 2050, along with Alexandria, Barranquilla, Naples and Sapporo.

What does that mean in the near term? More flooding and coastal erosion, although the Dominican Republic says it is working to prepare and adapt.

Of course, Santo Domingo is not alone in being impacted — around 70 percent of the Caribbean’s population living on the coast, including what the report called “highly vulnerable” cities like Havana and Port-au-Prince. And almost all of the Caribbean’s cities are less than a mile from the coast, the World Bank said.

The World Bank is urging the Caribbean to improve land planning, set up economic recovery and diversification plans following disasters and invest more in flood controls, all of which could help the region adapt to what could be the biggest problem of the 21st century for the region.

The idea, the World Bank says, is to “link risk management with social, economic and environmental initiatives.”

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