Flooding could become the norm in Alexandria, the World Bank has warned. It put Alexandria among the five cities across the world most at risk of flooding by 2050 as a result of climate change. The other cities the World Bank lists include Barranquilla, Colombia; Naples, Italy; Sapporo, Japan; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Low-lying Alexandria is also vulnerable to increased salination, or saltwater intrusions on agricultural lands and freshwater resources, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The city’s beaches and waterfront — both major tourist draws and vital parts of Alexandria’s economy — will be heavily affected by flooding because most of the hotels, camps and youth hostels are close to the shoreline, the IPCC said.
Alexandria’s beaches would be lost with a 50-centimeter (20-inch) rise in sea level, the IPCC has warned, and the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change expects that increase on Egypt’s coast by the end of the century. Just a 25-centimeter rise in sea level would displace 60 percent of Alexandria’s population of 4 million, and a 50-centimeter rise would force out millions more in the fertile Nile Delta, which produces half of Egypt’s crops and is vulnerable to saltwater intrusion as sea levels rise, according to the IPCC.