Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Disappearing Pattaya Beach

The popular Pattaya beach in Thailand is eroding at a rate of nearly two meters a year that could lead to its extinction in less than five years, according to Thai scientists. Scientists fear that city development and sea currents have already taken a toll on the famous tourist beach and not taking any immediate action would mean that the beach will disappear in the near future. However, the coastline of the beach town of Pattaya, hundreds of sand dikes have been piled up along the famous beach to prevent erosion but the marine experts said it’s not enough to prevent the erosion. They emphasise that there were no planning or feasibility study was done before building any hotels in the area and cause more environment impact in the area.

"If we don't fill the embankment with sand, the water will destroy the shore because there is nothing to block it, no sand, no sea wall," Thanawat Jarupongsakul, a marine and coastal erosion expert at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University, was quoted as saying by Reuters. “You can see that in some areas the beach has already gone," he said, adding that the width of Pattaya beach now is about 3 to 5 meters, compared to more than 35 meters in 1952. This year alone, the beach has shrunk to 3.2 acres, he said. 

Thanawat said a rescue plan worth $19 million that would require up to 7.76 million cubic feet of sand should be implemented urgently to increase the shore width to 40 meters and save it from shrinking. While the eroding beach in Pattaya could have serious impacts on tourism, environment and marine life are at greater risks. Other tourism destinations in Asia such as Srilanka and Maldives should take initiative to prevent their beautiful beaches unless they also have to face similar situation like Pattaya. Better tourism planning and environmental impact study will help to reduce this kind of problems in the future.

The Video is courtesy of NTDTV

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