Flood fatalities in Africa: from diagnosis to mitigation

G. Di Baldassarre, A. Montanari, H. F. Lins, D. Koutsoyiannis, L. Brandimarte, and G. Blöschl, Flood fatalities in Africa: from diagnosis to mitigation, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L22402, doi:10.1029/2010GL045467, 2010.



Flood-related fatalities in Africa, as well as associated economic losses, have increased dramatically over the past half-century. There is a growing global concern about the need to identify the causes for such increased flood damages. To this end, we analyze a large, consistent and reliable dataset of floods in Africa. Identification of causes is not easy given the diverse economic settings, demographic distribution and hydro-climatic conditions of the African continent. On the other hand, many African river basins have a relatively low level of human disturbance and, therefore, provide a unique opportunity to analyze climatic effects on floods. We find that intensive and unplanned human settlements in flood-prone areas appears to be playing a major role in increasing flood risk. Timely and economically sustainable actions, such as the discouragement of human settlements in flood-prone areas and the introduction of early warning systems are, therefore, urgently needed.

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See also: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2010GL045467


The paper has been cited as Editor's Highlight. It has also been discussed in the following weblogs and forums:

  1. Population trends, not climate, causing increased flood fatalities in Africa (AGU Blogosphere)
  2. Flood Losses in Africa (Roger Pielke Jr.'s Blog)
  3. Flood Losses In Africa (repost) (The Global Warming Policy Foundation)
  4. Missing News: Flood damage muted (ABC News Watch)
  5. African Floods Are Not Being Caused By Human CO2 Emissions, Latest Peer-Reviewed Study Reports (C3)
  6. Fatal Floods In Africa (Inside Science)
  7. Fatal floods in Africa (repost) (Carbon-Based)
  8. Carbon-Based: Fatal floods in Africa (repost) (GCC News Brief)
  9. Meer doden door overstromingen: schuld van het klimaat? (Kennislink)
  10. Wetenschappers tegen kolencentrales gebruiken drogreden (Climategate.nl)

Other reactions in weblogs, forums and Internet resources during 2010 can be seen in:

Real Science * Google Groups * NewsGuide * Telescopes Astronomy * Daily Science News * EurekAlert! * Keskisuomalainen

Our works referenced by this work:

1. D. Koutsoyiannis, and A. Montanari, Statistical analysis of hydroclimatic time series: Uncertainty and insights, Water Resources Research, 43 (5), W05429, doi:10.1029/2006WR005592, 2007.

Our works that reference this work:

1. D. Koutsoyiannis, Scale of water resources development and sustainability: Small is beautiful, large is great, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 56 (4), 553–575, doi:10.1080/02626667.2011.579076, 2011.
2. A. Montanari, G. Young, H. H. G. Savenije, D. Hughes, T. Wagener, L. L. Ren, D. Koutsoyiannis, C. Cudennec, E. Toth, S. Grimaldi, G. Blöschl, M. Sivapalan, K. Beven, H. Gupta, M. Hipsey, B. Schaefli, B. Arheimer, E. Boegh, S. J. Schymanski, G. Di Baldassarre, B. Yu, P. Hubert, Y. Huang, A. Schumann, D. Post, V. Srinivasan, C. Harman, S. Thompson, M. Rogger, A. Viglione, H. McMillan, G. Characklis, Z. Pang, and V. Belyaev, “Panta Rhei – Everything Flows”, Change in Hydrology and Society – The IAHS Scientific Decade 2013-2022, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 58 (6), 1256–1275, doi:10.1080/02626667.2013.809088, 2013.
3. D. Koutsoyiannis, Reconciling hydrology with engineering, Hydrology Research, 45 (1), 2–22, doi:10.2166/nh.2013.092, 2014.
4. D. Koutsoyiannis, Social vs. scientific perception of change in hydrology and climate — Reply to the Discussion by Arie Ben-Zvi on the Opinion Paper “Hydrology and Change”, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 59 (8), 1625–1626, doi:10.1080/02626667.2014.935382, 2014.
5. S. Ceola, A. Montanari, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Toward a theoretical framework for integrated modeling of hydrological change, WIREs Water, 1 (5), 427–438, doi:10.1002/wat2.1038, 2014.

Works that cite this document: View on Google Scholar or ResearchGate

Other works that reference this work (this list might be obsolete):

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Tagged under: Climate stochastics, Works discussed in weblogs, Floods, Papers initially rejected