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Lakshadweep may face coastal erosion due to sea level rise

Date: 23 June 2021 Tags: Climate Change


A study by IIT-Kharagpur has found that sea level around Lakshadweep Islands is rising annually by about 0.4 mm and 0.9 mm, threatening its existence.



The study was carried under the aegis of Department of Science and Technology and was trying to ascertain levels of sea erosion.



  • The report says that bigger islands may experience erosion of land but smaller islands may be completely submerged under the sea.

  • The Lakshadweep islands are a group of 36 islands in the South Arabian Sea. They only occupy 32 sq km of area.

  • They are basically low elevation islands and the maximum height is 4-6 metres above Mean Sea Level. A minimum level of 1 metre can be seen in the island.

  • Out of the total of 36 islands, only 10 islands are currently being occupied by people. Majority of population is concentrated on sea shore.

  • The study said that islands of Chetlat and Amini were more vulnerable to the erosion. Amini could lose 60-70 percent of its existing land whereas it would be 70-80 percent for Chetlat.

  • The island of Minicoy and capital Kavaratti are not spared from the erosion. The island’s only airport may be heavily damaged due to sea erosion.

  • Majority of people on the island are dependent on tourism, fishing and agriculture. Sea level rise can impact them severely.


Factors studied

The range of rising sea levels has been determined based on various models of climate change. The varying levels of green house gas scenarios have been considered.



  • Experts feel that two methods can be used for protecting against the sea level rise. The preferred would be developing mangroves around the coast to stop erosion.

  • The second method would be technological and engineering solution that would involve constructing sea walls, which is very expensive.