Geography Compass

Floods: the consequences and the management

Despite some advantages, sometimes natural phenomena can be unpredictably damaging to the communities when it happens in big scale.  Over the last month, central Europe was hit by the worst flood of decades, particularly south of Poland.  Latest reports from some media included the Telegraph, Guardian, BBC and Reuters reflected the pressing situations caused by the flood in the affected countries.

Since the flood first inundated central Europe in mid May, at least 20 people were killed across the countries while thousands were being evacuated from home.  The effects on economy were expected to be minimal to Poland by the Financial Times in end of May.  However, natural hazards like flood may also causes loss in dwellings, agricultures and infrastructure which ultimately affects the economy of the affected areas both in short and long terms.

Considering the widespread impacts of flooding, many researchers have conducted research aiming either to investigate the causes of flood or inventions of technologies and management techniques to minimise the flooding consequences.  López-Marrero recently highlights the importance of access to resources and cognitive factors in determining the adaptive capacity to the floods in Puerto Rico.  The case study further suggests integrative approach of both aspects in practical strategies development to increase the adaptive capacity to flood.

Instead of focus at the local level, Chang and Franczyk revised some recent studies on flood across the world in order to identify the causes of flood from various aspects as well as methodological issues in the flood research. The review which finally analyse current challenges in flood research also propose the importance of integrative approach in flood research and management.

As these researchers suggested, I personally agree that we should consider several aspects in developing local flood handling strategies and anticipate integration of data in various scales, systems and disciplines in the research.

Read article by López-Marrero in The Geographical Journal here

Read review by Chang and Franczyk in Geography Compass here

by Lee-Sim Lim

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