Publication details

Flood Fatalities in Europe, 1980–2018: Variability, Features, and Lessons to Learn


PETRUCCI Olga ACETO Luigi BIANCHI Cinzia BIGOT Victoria BRÁZDIL Rudolf PEREIRA Susana KAHRAMAN Abdullah KILIÇ Özgenur KOTRONI Vassiliki LLASAT Maria Carmen LLASAT-BOTIJA Montserrat PAPAGIANNAKI Katerina PASQUA Angela Aurora ŘEHOŘ Jan GELI Joan Rossello SALVATI Paola VINET Freddy ZEZERE José Luis

Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Water
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

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Keywords flood; fatality; spatiotemporal variability; risk; vulnerability; Europe
Description Floods are still a significant threat to people, despite of the considerable developments in forecasting, management, defensive, and rescue works. In the near future, climate and societal changes as both urbanization of flood prone areas and individual dangerous behaviors could increase flood fatalities. This paper analyzes flood mortality in eight countries using a 39-year database (1980–2018) named EUFF (EUropean Flood Fatalities), which was built using documentary sources. The narratives of fatalities were investigated and standardized in the database reporting the details of the events. The entire dataset shows a stable trend on flood fatalities, despite the existence of individual increasing (Greece, Italy, and South France) and decreasing (Turkey and Catalonia) trends. The 2466 fatalities were mainly males, aged between 30–49 years and the majority of them happened outdoor. Most often people were dragged by water/mud when travelling by motor vehicles. Some cases of hazardous behaviors, such as fording rivers, were also detected. The primary cause of death was drowning, followed by heart attack. This work contributes to understand the human–flood interaction that caused fatalities. The changes in society’s vulnerability highlighted throughout this study contribute to manage future risks, to improve people protection actions, and to reduce risk behaviors.
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