Monday, March 31, 2008

Egypt heading toward natural disaster

From the Middle East Times, an article by Joseph Mayton: Egypt could be on the receiving end of a natural disaster of Biblical proportions, experts warn. Although numerous scenarios are being studied by scientists, two things appear certain in all of them: Alexandria, Egypt's second largest city on the Mediterranean Sea coast will disappear and North Africa is in for some troublesome years ahead.

"Many of the towns and urban areas in the north of the [Nile] Delta will suffer from a rise in the level of the Mediterranean with effect from 2020, and about 15 percent of Delta land is under threat from the rising sea level and its seepage into the ground water," Egypt's Environment Minister George Maged told a parliamentary committee in Cairo earlier in March. He said joint studies by his ministry and the United Nations have assessed the situation is urgent, adding that Egypt is planning to start an international campaign to look for solutions….

…Generally, scientists predict the Mediterranean will rise by as little as 30 centimeters (one foot) to one meter (3.3 feet) by the end of the century. Even a one-meter rise in the level will submerge Alexandria.

Egypt, like the entire Middle East region, needs to be prepared for what is to come, Munqeth Mehyar, the director of Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) said ahead of his organization's presentation of a security risk assessment of climate change in the Middle East for the annual U.N. conference on climate change in Bali, Indonesia.

Map of Egypt, CIA World Factbook, Wikimedia Commons

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