World under severe Flood threat; World Bank

About 1.47 billion people are directly exposed to the risk of intense flooding with over a third of them (Almost 600 million), are poor, according to a study by the World Bank.

Rentschler and Melda Salhab authored the study “Flood Exposure and Poverty in 189 Countries”.

Exposure to flood risk substantial

The authors in the report said that about 2.2 billion people (29 per cent of the world population) live in regions that would experience inundation during a 1-in 1000-year flood event.

It said that about 1.47 billion people (19 per cent) of the population are directly exposed to inundation depths of over 0.15 meters.

East and South Asia could see the worst

Noting that no population was safe in the 189 countries, the report points out that the people in East Asia and South Asia are most vulnerable to flood. It said that as many as 329 million people in China, 225 million in India accounts for over a third of the affected people.

Flood exposure, poverty coincide the risk to livelihoods

The poor households are the most affected by long-term consequence of floods. The study points out countries in sub Saharan Africa faced the greatest threat. The estimate showed that about 171 million people were exposed to flood in this region. Of this, at least 71 million people are in extreme poverty.

Income level helps in recovery of floods

The study finds that people having higher income level can beat the flood to a certain level. It shows the example of Dutch people. It said that large investments in flood protection had helped the Dutch population in protecting themselves. Canada or Japan people have high access to rapid government support systems.

The World Bank study says that strengthening disaster prevention and recovery capacity  needed in the hotspots where poverty and flood exposure coincide.

 Urgent action

The study maintained that coastal urbanisation was accelerating flood risk. It also said pointed out that new settlements and developments are occurring increasingly in high-risk areas. The study showed that rapid coastal urbanisation, climate change and land subsidence would augment flood risk.



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