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After the storm: how the UK’s flood defences performed during the surge following Xaver

Thousands evacuated and one in six properties at risk – the flooding which hit the UK in December 2013 was the worst since 1953. This review by Zurich experts looks at measures taken and structures put in place over the years. It also shows why it is important to maintain flood protection...

Balkan floods of May 2014: challenges facing flood resilience in a former war zone

Major floods that swept through the Balkan region in 2014 have added to the problems facing people still recovering from conflict. Some had only just rebuilt their lives, only to be forced to flee again, this time to escape the floods. The legacy of war makes recovery more difficult and...

Central European floods 2013: a retrospective

As every flood event is different and brings new challenges, each one also provides an opportunity to learn. It should be standard procedure that in-depth, ‘forensic’ analysis is undertaken after large flood events. The insights then need to be shared and exchanged widely. This paper is intended...

Emmental, Switzerland floods of July 2014

An intense thunderstorm caused severe flooding in Emmental and surrounding villages. But the damages would have been even bigger had the water level of the river Aare not been lowered to be able to take up the high discharge of the river Emme. Public infrastructure, especially roads and bridges,...

Flooding after Storm Desmond

This report is produced as part of Zurich’s global flood resilience programme and the JBA Trust’s mission to improve knowledge about flood risk. Launched in 2013, Zurich’s global flood resilience programme aims to increase understanding of flood resilience and advocates better protection and...

Floods in Boulder: A Study of Resilience

Boulder, Colorado, is prone to fires, floods and droughts. All are likely to intensify with climate change. This study looks at flooding in Boulder in September 2013. Though the scale of flooding was unprecedented, only 10 lives were lost, most infrastructure was maintained, and the recovery has...

Helping Portugal cope with floods

In the final hours of October 2015,a powerful storm and heavy rains pounded the Algarve region. Flood waters rose quickly, threatening residents and businesses in communities along Portugal’s south coast. In the final hours of October 2015, a powerful storm and heavy rains pounded the Algarve...

Learning from El Niño Costero 2017: Opportunities for Building Resilience in Peru / El Niño...

In January 2017, coastal waters off Peru warmed suddenly and unexpectedly. Low lying coastal storms dropped intense rainfall at low elevation, causing rivers, ephemeral streams, and low-lying areas to flood. Repeated episodes of rainfall, flooding, and landslides affected populations west of the...

Learning from French experiences with storm Xynthia; damages after a flood

On the 28th of February 2010 at 2 a.m. the storm Xynthia hit the French Atlantic coast. The storm surge combined with the high tide and large waves caused flood defences to fail along the coastline from the Gironde (Bordeaux) to the Loire Estuary. A significant amount of land, (>50 000 ha) was...

Managing El Niño Risks Under Uncertainty in Peru

Peru is a global hotspot for El Niño-related disaster risk, and recent severe El Niño events (1982-83, 1997-98, and 2017) have led to widespread loss of life and destruction of assets in this central Andean nation. While capacities to forecast and prepare for El Niño in Peru have improved...

Morocco floods of 2014: what we can learn from Guelmim and Sidi Ifni

It doesn’t rain often in the desert, but when it does, the danger can be extreme. A Zurich study reviews what can be learned from devastating floods in Morocco in 2014, based on research led by a group of experts in that country. What is learned from Morocco’s floods could be invaluable not just...

Prioritizing Recovery Spending: Lessons from the 2017 Peru Floods

Globally, long-term disaster recovery efforts typically focus on rebuilding infrastructure - core services, markets, and transportation are fundamental to maintaining livelihoods and economic activity. However, as Peru designs and implements recovery plans in response to the 2017 flood,...

Resilient Resettlement: Lessons from the 2017 Peru Floods

Throughout Peru, there are significant populations living on high-risk lands, some with official land title and some without. The 2017 “El Niño Costero” flooding in Peru has led to broad discussions about whether and how to resettle communities that were heavily impacted. However, resettlement is...

The great eastern Japan earthquake and Tsunami: Field observations on the coast of Tohoku six...

he tsunami that hit the north pacific coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 has been characterized as a mega disaster. It inundated over 560 square kilometers of land, devastating a large number of coastal communities, causing over 20,000 casualties and huge economic damage in Tohoku region. The...

The PERC manual

The Post-Event Review Capability (PERC) is a systematic framework for the analysis of a disaster event, focusing on how a specific hazard event became a disaster. PERC is typically conducted and published within a year of the disaster, though it can be used in other ways or in other timeframes...

Transforming Chennai

When Chennai India experienced its worst flood in a century on December 1st 2015 - displacing 1.8 million people, claiming 300 lives and causing more than $7 billion in economic and property damage - 10,000 individual MSMEs experienced a total of $250 million of damage over two weeks. In Chennai,...

Urgent case of recovery: what we can learn from the August 2014 Karnali River floods in Nepal

In mid-August 2014, three days of torrential monsoon rainfall led to the widespread Karnali floods in Western Nepal.The floods killed 222 people and had a major impact on 120,000 others, damaging infrastructure and property and displacing households. This report investigates the cause, provide...

What can be learned from the Columbia and Charleston floods 2015?

In October 2015, South Carolina experienced days of torrential rains and severe flooding.The floods were a major disaster. Total losses have been estimated at USD 12 billion, comparable to the economic impact of Hurricane Hugo in 1989.Despite the serious nature of the event, it was hardly...

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