Miami & Victoria Island: A Tale of Two Doomed Cities?

I came across this article on a forecast by scientists on the future of Miami at the end of the century. It’s a future that reads like a apocalyptic scenario unfolding. According to scientists, Miami is doomed due to the land’s flat topography and porous rocks which make it susceptible to rising sea levels. Its reported that with just three feet rise in sea level, more than a third of South Florida would vanish.

I looked at the cityscape of Florida and how it sat at the edge of the sea and shivered as it reminded me of a similar looking topography in Nigeria – Victoria Island.

A few years back, Victoria Island experienced ocean surges that washed past the famous Bar Beach and washed onto the streets. Alarm was raised and engineers were hired to construct protective blockades against the ocean’s raging surge.

But would the Island still be that secure by the end of the decade?

Victoria Island
Despite this there’s a lot of land filling going on along the coasts creating more land space for more buildings to spring up. I’ve seen how terrible flooding takes place in places like Lekki which is predominantly land filled space. I wonder what it will look like in the next ten years.

The famous Eko Atlantic project which involves massive land filling at the banks of the sea to create space for a super mega city even scares me the most. It looks too much like a major disaster waiting to happen.  With the flooding disasters of the last two years, the whole project doesn’t seem the least bit safe in any way.

What's left of V.I's Bar Beach today.

Proposed Eko Atlantic City
Jeff Goodell, an environment writer wrote this chilling bit about Miami in the Rolling Stones Online Magazine:

When it rains in Miami, it’s spooky. Blue sky vanishes and suddenly water is everywhere, pooling in streets, flooding parking lots, turning intersections into submarine crossings. Even for a nonbeliever like me, it feels biblical, as if God were punishing the good citizens of Miami Beach for spending too much time on the dance floor. At Alton Road and 10th Street, we watched a woman in a Toyota stall at a traffic light as water rose up to the doors. A man waded out to help her, water up to his knees. This flooding has gotten worse with each passing year, happening not only after torrential rainstorms but during high tides, too, when rising sea water backs up through the city’s antiquated drainage system.

Wanless, 71, who drives an SUV that is littered with research equipment, notebooks and mud, shook his head with pity. “This is what global warming looks like,” he explained. “If you live in South Florida and you’re not building a boat, you’re not facing reality.”

Goodell’s description is very similar to the scenarios experienced on the streets of Victoria Island. We saw how the terrible floods of last year made people resort to the use of boats as cars submerged and homes got flooded. It was a harrowing experience.

And it has been reported that more heavy rains and floods are to be expected.

Still, more landfill projects keep springing up, big investments go into real estate in these seeming endangered areas.  Must we end up learning from a disastrous experience when we could prevent it?

How long will we close our eyes and court with this danger?

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