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Economy

Jakarta and Bangkok keep sinking as infrastructure projects stall

Key emerging economies need anti-flooding measures or face being inundated

Residents search among destroyed houses during 2018 floods in Jakarta. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

JAKARTA/BANGKOK/MANILA -- The Asian capitals of Jakarta and Bangkok have the dubious distinction of being among the fastest sinking cities in the world, as residents of both are faced with rising sea levels and extreme flooding, especially during annual rainy seasons and torrential rain falls.

Indonesia's low-lying capital, home to 10 million people, sits at the mouth of the Ciliwung River and has a long history of flooding: In 2007, 70% of the city was submerged by floods. It is the fastest sinking city in the world, dropping about 7.5 cm to 10 cm every year, according to Dutch research institute Deltares.

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