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Dramatic footage shows house collapsing into the ocean due to rising sea levels

The dramatic footage shows a house collapsing into the sea in North Carolina, an area badly impacted by coastal erosion.

Image of house on stilts in water, surrounded by debris.

Debris from the collapsed house spilled onto the beach. (Image: Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

Shocking footage of a house collapsing into the sea in North Carolina has gone viral online, demonstrating the climate threat now being faced by coastal communities around the world.

The footage shows a house on stilts in collapsing as a wave washes over it in Rodanthe, on Hatteras Island, part of the state’s Outer Banks.

According to US investigative reporter Tolly Taylor, the house was unoccupied at the time, but is estimated to be worth $381,200 (£309,603).

High tides in the area have caused widespread flooding which has been worsening in recent years as the area suffers from coastal erosion and rising sea levels accelerated by climate change.

North Carolina as a whole is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of a changing climate, with 1,200 miles of coastline and a sea level rise of around 4.5 millimeters in the northeast part of the state.

“Things are different today than they were 10, 15 years ago,” said Reide Corbett, director of East Carolina University’s Coastal Studies Institute, in a recent interview with local media.

“Today, the main driver of sea-level rise is a global phenomenon with warming temperatures, warming ocean, more water making it into the ocean associated with melting glaciers. That’s the big driver today,” he said.

Climate change accelerates coastal erosion because rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events cause beaches and cliffs to disintegrate or disappear.

A study from the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) has suggested that half of the world’s beaches could disappear by the end of the century due to coastal erosion if measures to mitigate and halt climate impacts are not taken.

The UK is not immune to the impacts of coastal erosion, with Yorkshire’s Holderness Coast now one of the fastest-eroding in Europe.

The average annual rate of erosion is around two metres per year, but in some sections of the coast, rates of loss are as high as ten metres per year.

More than 200 homes on the Holderness Coast are expected to be lost in the next century, with 24 likely to vanish in five years.

The Environment Agency has admitted that it will not be financially viable to protect all parts of the UK from flooding and coastal erosion.

In Wales, the village of Fairbourne has already been told it will be “decommissioned”, with residents moved elsewhere in the coming decades due to the likelihood of sea level rise drowning the village.

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