8. Lohachara Island
One of the more recently submerged islands on the list, Lohachara was finally lost in 2006—the first inhabited island to be submerged as a result of climate change. Located in India’s Sundarbans, where the rivers Brahmaputra and Ganges empty their contents into the Bay of Bengal, the island was once inhabited by as many as 10,000 people. As it gradually sunk into the sea, most of the residents fled to the neighboring Sagar Island, which is now also gradually being lost to the sea.
The island’s subsidence devastated many impoverished residents. One local described how she left to visit family, returning the next day to find that her farm had just collapsed into the river. She tried to jump into the fast-moving water to rescue her sheep but was stopped by her neighbors. Her family was soon forced to move to a new island, where “we don’t have any agricultural land and have to work as laborers. My son has grown up and now he works on a ship.”