Destructive Waves and Beach Erosion Leave Houses on the Edge: NSW Central Coast, Australia

By: Nandika Chand | Last Updated July 17, 2020

People living on the New South Wales (NSW) Central Coast in Australia are on the edge as they fear their balconies will be swallowed by the ocean. This is following days of destructive waves and beach erosion. Fear has grown as the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a hazardous surf warning on Friday until Saturday midnight.

The mega-waves and swells can be attributed to climate change. In 2019, a study by scientists from Griffith University said waves are forecast to become larger and more powerful and to shift in direction if the climate continues to warm at its current rate. It pointed out Southern Australia among the regions to be hardest hit global.

Researchers found that about half the world’s coastline was at risk from wave climate change by the final two decades of this century if greenhouse gas emissions remained at their current business-as-usual trajectory. The paper said wave changes are driven primarily by strengthening winds. And this might potentially exacerbate or even exceed in some coastal regions, impacts of future sea-level rise.

The NSW Central Coast Incident Alerts, News & Information page on Facebook said emergency services were assisting residents with coastal erosion from the large powerful swell that is hammering the coastline. The post said a crane was on site putting in place large concrete blocks to slow the damage to residents along the stretch of coastline.

A beachfront resident from Wamberal said he fears his balcony would collapse into the surf below. “They seem to be getting progressively worse, in terms of beach erosion it seems to be getting worse and worse and worse,” he said. “I have never seen the waves come in, to this extent, even when the Pasha Bulker (coal ship) happened in 2007, it wasn’t this bad.”

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