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  • Global mortality from storm surges is decreasing
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Global mortality from storm surges is decreasing

Source(s):  IOP Science

Changes in society's vulnerability to natural hazards are important to understand, as they determine current and future risks, and the need to improve protection. Very large impacts including high numbers of fatalities occur due to single storm surge flood events.

This report focuses on impacts of global coastal storm surge events since the year 1900, based on a compilation of events and data on loss of life. It finds that over the past, more than eight thousand people are killed and 1.5 million people are affected annually by storm surges. The occurrence of very substantial loss of life (>10 000 persons) from single events has however decreased over time. Moreover, there is a consistent decrease in event mortality, measured by the fraction of exposed people that are killed, for all global regions, except South East Asia. Average mortality for storm surges is slightly higher than for river floods, but lower than for flash floods. It also finds that for the same coastal surge water level, mortality has decreased over time. This indicates that risk reduction efforts have been successful, but need to be continued with projected climate change, increased rates of sea-level rise and urbanisation in coastal zones.



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  • Global mortality from storm surges is decreasing
  • Publication date 2018
  • Author(s) Bouwer, Laurens M.; Jonkman, Sebastiaan N.
  • Number of pages 8 p.

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