Positive Environment News

Shanghai may slide under waves in 600 years - paper

Date: 10-Feb-04
Country: CHINA

Academics worry that Shanghai, which state media report sank as much as 2.63 metres between 1921 and 1965 due to the overpumping of underground water, may descend further under the weight of a construction frenzy of the past decade.

The sea had risen 20 mm since 2000 and should keep climbing over the next decade, the Shanghai Daily said, citing a report from the State Ocean Administration.

"Shanghai and a number of other coastal cities have been drawing heavily on groundwater for a couple of decades, depleting it and causing (the cities) to sink," said one U.S-based researcher.

Excessive construction of tall buildings was to blame for 30 percent of Shanghai's subsidence since 1990, Xinhua said, when the city embarked on a whirlwind of construction that has dotted its skyline with often bizarre, futuristic towers.

Lujiazui, the financial district where Japan's Mori Building Co is erecting a 101-storey skyscraper that could be the world's tallest, is sinking 12 to 15 millimetres a year, Xinhua said.

The area is home to the country's main stock exchange and a host of multinationals that have chosen to make Shanghai the focus of a push into the Chinese market. The city government is now considering limiting the number of high rises.

"This is apparently not a serious enough problem to stop the building of the world's tallest building," said one locally based foreign diplomat.

© Thomson Reuters 2004 All rights reserved

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