Global to regional overview of floods fatality: the 1951–2020 period
Abstract. Floods are among the most devastating natural hazards. Human interferences along with climate change cause a lot of human and financial losses every year following the occurrence of floods. In this research, flooding events that have killed more than 10 people in the 1951–2020 period have been studied, analysing the EM-DAT database. The results show that the severity of flood-related deaths is equally distributed worldwide, but present some specific geographical patterns. The flood fatality coefficient, calculated for different countries, identified that Southern, Eastern, and South-Eastern regions of Asia have the deadliest floods in the world. The number of flood events has been increasing since 1951 and peaked in 2007, following a relatively declining trend since then. However, the number of death tolls does not follow a statistically significant trend. An examination of the number of flood events in different decades shows that the highest number of events occurred in the 2001–2010 decade, which corresponds to the largest precipitation anomaly in the world. The most casualties occurred in the decade 1991–2000. However, the lethality of floods has decreased over time, from 412 per flood in 1951–1960 to 67 in the 2011–2020 decade, probably as a consequence of a more resilient environment and better risk reduction strategies. In addition, a direct correlation was found between the number of flood events and the number of casualties with the world’s population.
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