Coastal erosion severe in parts of Greece


TAGS: Environment

Two new university studies warn of the risks of extensive coastal erosion in seven parts of Greece.

The first, conducted by the University of Athens (UoA), refers to a 14-kilometer stretch at Xylokastro, Melissi, Sykies and Kamari in Corinth, where on average 18 centimeters of coastline are lost every year due to geological factors prevalent in the area. In some spots, however, annual erosion has been known to reach up to 70 centimeters, posing a serious threat to residents’ properties and livelihoods.

“This is an extreme case in relation to the rest of Greece, which is why it is of such scientific interest,” says Assistant Professor Emmanuel Vassilakis, who heads the UoA research team. The problem is especially acute in Sykies and Melissi, he says, where “the coastline has been receding at an alarming rate since 1987 and the phenomenon has become increasingly apparent even to the naked eye.” He adds that “the destruction of infrastructure and structures is also due to the fact that the area has been developed over the decades along the coastline without any planning for its protection.”

The University of the Aegean, meanwhile, warns of “economic death” as a result of coastal erosion at certain beaches on six islands that will have lost 50 percent of their surface area by 2050.

These are Kamari on Santorini, Eresos and Tsamakia on Lesvos, Kataraktis and Aghia Ermioni on Chios, Masouri on Kalymnos, and parts of Halki and Agathonisi.