UK Coastal Defences – what nightmare happened to them?

article-0-18E5A3EC000005DC-389_634x353Famous White Cliffs of Dover are collapsing

ImageSea level up by only 1m

Could the UK survive a tsunami? Don’t be silly – we couldn’t survive a very high tide, never mind a massive wave!

Tsunamis are caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions under the sea, massive landslides into water, or even hefty meteors from outer space.

The biggest wave known so far was 1720 ft high (600 yards/ 1/3rd of a mile/500 meters) in Alaska 1958 caused by a landslide – bet you wouldn’t have guessed that. WOW! There have been some other big ones in recent times as well, including the one in the Indian Ocean in 2004 which hit nearly a dozen poor countries and killed about ¼ million people.

Are we at risk here of a tsunami? One generated in far off locations such as Africa hitting the Atlantic Ocean? Well, scientists reckon not – but they would say that wouldn’t they (they don’t want to worry us and put up insurance premiums!)?However, we know there have been small ones measured in yards high rather than hundreds, so don’t be too confident we are safe.

So what happens if the UK is hit with a 30ft high wave? Well thousands of us will die, adults, children, babies and the vulnerable. Things will be particularly bad because we have neglected our even basis sea defences – we are allowing our tiny island to gradually slip back in to the sea. Well done our masters.

Recent years’ severe flooding in the UK has demonstrated the devastating impact that out of control water can have on our communities – deaths and destruction. Just imagine what it will be like when the sea finally breaks out and spreads widespread into our Country.

Spending on flood defences and coastal defences has been decimated by the government. All round our coastline cliffs are collapsing and seashores and wonderful beaches are disappearing at an alarming rate. Defences that were put in place hundreds of years ago aren’t being maintained or replaced. For example, Norfolk is a disaster zone like many others, with fierce stormy seas and strong winds easily brushing aside the flimsily out of date and inadequate defences. The battle with the sea isn’t simply being lost because the fight doesn’t actually exist anymore. Communities have plainly been abandoned to their fate and the left to the mercy of the elements. It isn’t as if the powers that be don’t understand the risk, or the problem, or what needs to be done about it – they just don’t have enough money from your parliament (so you will be alright if you have a industrial facility to defend, or a nuclear plant, or an MP’s estate, but forget it if you only have a fishing fleet in your bay).

In London we built in the early 1980s the 600 yard movable ‘Thames Barrier’ as a defence against the flooding of London. It is the second biggest in the world. It has needed to be used in earnest well in excess of 100 times already, so that is a warning to Londoners about the ongoing risk. Some special occurrence or accident or act of God can annihilate it, so don’t sleep at night relaxed. The future effectiveness of the barrier must be in doubt and the increasingly very violent sea is much more likely to have its way than the authorities are willing to admit. Chances of building a better barrier? Forget it. London will therefore flood, thousands of us will die, £billions will be lost, the UK will be shattered. Oh dear.

It is predicted that sea level could rise by as much as 1 meter in future years as Antarctica ice sheets melt into the sea due to global warming – perhaps it might happen after our time but what about our children or grandchildren? Major flooding in parts of the East UK at least and big areas lost.

What about other countries? Do they protect what they have got from the sea?

Well, Japan has had a good go with about fifty percent of their coastline defended with not not high enough seawalls – in the event of a 2011 predictable earthquake causing a 4 meter tsunami they were overwhelmed in many places causing ten thousand deaths. Tokyo the capital of Japan and the largest metropolitan area in the world was partially built on ‘reclaimed’ land as are many other part of cities and areas of the world (Rio de Janeiro, Dublin, Mexico, Barcelona, Zeebrugge, Monaco, Mumbai, Singapore, etc). All costing their peoples a lot of money.

In Holland the majority of the country is at risk of flooding from sea and rivers, so they employ dikes, floodgates, drainage ditches, and pumps (replacing windmills!) as major defences – oh yes, they spend a lot of money, because it is a PRIORITY to save their land from the waters!

Not us. We spent our money on £20billion (!) on recent wars (which were nothing to do with us and we gained nothing), up to £2billion helping Libya (a population who despise us), more than £13billion each year on foreign aid (much going into the pockets of the corrupt), the 3 year internal conflict in Syria costing us £million who knows, and still now even £10m on an old lady’s funeral? What would that kind of cash do for our sea defences?

To finish then: If you want your ongoing family to visit the delightful Norfolk area and say perhaps the coastal village of Hopton-on-Sea tell them not to wait too long as it will perhaps be Hopton-under-the Sea in 50-100 years time (didn’t make the priority list for sea defences you see). Or write to your MP and interrupt some 650 of them who might be busy filling in their expenses and get them to do their job and protect your island? Or are you lazy or don’t you care?

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