29 Sep 2022
 | 29 Sep 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Uncovering Inundation Hotspots through a Normalized Flood Severity Index: Urban Flood Modelling Based on Open-Access Data in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Mazen Hoballah Jalloul, Leon Scheiber, Christian Jordan, Jan Visscher, Hong Quan Nguyen, and Torsten Schlurmann

Abstract. Hydro-numerical models offer an increasingly important tool to determine the adequacy and evaluate the effectiveness of potential flood protection measures. However, a significant obstacle in setting up hydro-numerical and associated flood damage models is the tedious and oftentimes prohibitively costly process of acquiring reliable input data, which particularly applies to coastal megacities in developing countries and emerging economies. To address this problem, this paper takes the example of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and proposes a new and comprehensive methodology for acquiring, processing, and applying the necessary open-access data (topography, bathymetry, tidal, river flow, and precipitation time series) to set up an urban surface run-off model. As a key novelty of the paper, a normalized flood severity index (NFSI) that combines flood depth and duration is proposed. The index serves as an indicator that helps uncover urban inundation hotspots with severe damage potential, drawing attention to specific districts or boroughs with special adaptation needs or emergency response measures. The approach is validated by comparison with more than 300 locally reported flood samples, which correspond to NFSI-processed inundation hotspots in over 73 % of all cases. These findings corroborate the robustness of the proposed index, which may significantly enhance the interpretation and trustworthiness of hydro-numerical assessments in the future. The proposed approach and developed indicators are generic and may be replicated and adopted in other coastal megacities.

Mazen Hoballah Jalloul et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-238', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Oct 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Leon Scheiber, 23 Dec 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2022-238', Anonymous Referee #2, 09 Nov 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Leon Scheiber, 23 Dec 2022

Mazen Hoballah Jalloul et al.

Mazen Hoballah Jalloul et al.


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Short summary
Urban floods have caused a growing amount of damage during the last decades, esp. in low-elevation coastal zones like Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This study presents a numerical model that simulates local flood depths and durations exclusively based on open-access data. Subsequently, a novel and easy-to-apply indicator, the Normalized Flood Severity Index, is introduced, combining both parameters to uncover local inundation hotspots. This approach can be replicated in any other coastal megacity.