Friday, March 31, 2023

Limon’s tourist areas sink due to coastal erosion and sea level rise

Manzanillo, Cahuita and Playa Tortuguero among sites affected by global warming

Experts warn that the population needs to be aware of the risks of building near beaches

The sea is “eating up” the beaches at various specific points on the Costa Rican coast; However, areas of the Caribbean tourist haven are suffering the worst consequences, putting the people and infrastructure in those areas at risk.

These are tourist sites such as Manzanillo, Cahuita, Tortuguero Beach and the mouth of the Pacuare River, as well as other Caribbean sites such as southern Ciengueta, Punta Uva and Puerto Vargas, where it is possible to document with photos and other elements. The invincible progress of the sea.

Read more: Discover the places in Costa Rica that will be under water by 2100 if climate change is not reversed

In fact, the most extreme estimates by experts conclude that in about 100 years, many tourist areas will end up under the sea, while beach erosion and rising temperatures will cause locals to leave their homes and businesses.

“As an oceanographer, I have visited the beaches of Costa Rica since 1978 and I can assure you that there are erosion processes that are progressing over the years. Nobody is going to stop global warming and Costa Rica And there is already scientific evidence around the world that such things can happen. Here are the places where people definitely have to go,” said Oceanographic Director of the Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR) of the University of Costa Rica said oceanographer Omar Lizano of the Information Module (MIO). (UCR).

Erosion also occurs on the Pacific coast, but the greatest impact is on the Caribbean coast.

Lizano assures that many people in the Atlantic region disapprove of him for his investigations and speculations; However, it stresses that everything is based on scientific information and that its main objective is to raise awareness among residents about future risks.

“Puerto Vargas in Cahuita, the southern part that is the national park, is a place that has been mercilessly attacked in recent years; Limon was victimized almost eight years ago, in 2015. It was the last occurrence of very high waves that cause erosion, which occur between December and February”, Lizano said.

Read more: World tourism leaders call for urgent action to protect the oceans

Despite the fact that there are soft measures, such as the placement of bags perpendicular to the beach, or hard measures such as the construction of “breaking waves”, which have a very high economic cost, these actions will have an impact in the short term, but in the long term According to Lizano, these places will continue to be affected by the extreme climate conditions the planet is going through.

Another phenomenon that has been identified in a cyclical manner is the subsidence and uplift of the tectonic platform at Limón, which is monitored, due to sea level rise in the area.

This cyclical process of subsidence has also been documented in the Pacific, however, after the Limón earthquake in the Caribbean there was a tectonic platform rise that exceeded 1.5 m.

Future scenarios for Limon, projected by models and experts, indicate that in the best scenario, sea level will rise by 40 centimeters in about a hundred years, while the worst-case increase will be 1.2 meters.

Lizano said, “I put it this way, you have a structure out there, enjoy it while you can, as long as the sea is not a danger to you, not a danger to the lives of those ”

Because this is a reality, oceanographers warn that it is necessary to start taking wise measures, both political, economic and social, so that the impact in these areas is not so severe in the future.

higher risk

According to studies by Omar Lizano, an oceanographer at the Oceanographic Information Module (MIO), these are the places that will be at greatest risk in Limón.

• Southern Sienguita
• Punta Uva
• Puerto Vargas
• Manzanillo
• Tortuguero Beach
• Mouth of Pakuare River
• Cahuita

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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