The death toll from Cyclone Idai that ripped into Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi in March 2019 is now above 1,000, with damages estimated at $2 billion. In 2018, more than 10,000 people lost their lives in disasters (with $225 billion of economic losses). Approximately 79 percent of fatalities occurred in the Asia Pacific region, including the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island. In fact,
When cyclones strike: massive flooding is a major threat to lives and property in low-lying coastal areas
As one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the entire Southern Hemisphere, cyclone Idai caused disastrous damages and loss of life in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Madagascar. Records to date of this category 3 cyclone indicate severe flooding and strong winds (10-minute sustained wind of 195 km/h and gusts up to 280 km/h), affecting more than 2.5 million people. The current death toll from Idai is 843 people (though many people remain missing and the death toll will continue to rise). Catastrophic damage occurred in and around the port city of Beira in southern Mozambique, where Idai produced a storm surge of 4.4 m (14 ft); severe wind and flood damage occurred well away from the point of landfall.
Cyclone Idai is one of the most devastating storms to ever hit Africa, causing catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
Starting off in early March 2019 as a tropical depression, the storm rapidly evolved into a cyclone, affecting over 2 million people and killing close to 1,000 in the three countries affected. The port city of Beira, Mozambique – the hardest hit – is struggling to reemerge from the rubble.
For those of us who have family and friends living in earthquake and hurricane prone areas, the 1.3 million people that have died in disasters in the last 25 years are more than a staggering statistic. It’s personal.
In this video, Luis Triveno (@luis_triveno), Urban Specialist, sits down with Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez (@Ede_WBG), Senior Director, to discuss what the World Bank is doing to make homes safer – before it’s too late.
For example, Sub-Saharan Africa is largely rural, but is also the region with the fastest urbanization rates. Currently, almost 40 percent of the people live in cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, but this is expected to grow to 60 percent or more by 2050. So while urbanization provides economic and social opportunity, it can overburden traditional municipal resource and service delivery approaches.
National meteorological and hydrological services (NMHSs) are responsible for helping people understand, predict and warn of weather- and water-related hazards such as storms, floods, and hurricanes.
Natural disasters push the near poor to below the poverty line & contribute to more persistent and severe poverty, creating poverty traps. Impacts on their livelihood pushes them further down the poverty line and as they own few assets it is very difficult for them to break this cycle.
Poor are caught up in and disaster-poverty vicious circle- are more likely to reside in hazardous locations and in substandard housing exposing them more to disasters. Poor households in disasters use harmful coping strategies, such as reducing expenditures on food, health, & education or increasing incomes by sending children to work.
In the Paradise, California fires of November 2018, a range of factors coalesced leaving 86 people dead and over 13,900 homes destroyed. Fueling the fires were gale-force winds that when combined with the area’s institutional and infrastructural challenges led to one of the deadliest fires in California history.
When Paradise was developed, the road network was built to maximize buildable space for homes. However, as the Paradise fires demonstrated, in the event of a large-scale disaster, the road network inhibited community-wide evacuation. Paradise featured nearly 100 miles of private roads that dead-ended on narrow overlooks with few connector streets. As wind rapidly accelerated the fire throughout the community, residents trying to flee found themselves on roads paralyzed by traffic for hours on end. Evacuation routes turned into fire traps. Local officials went on to say that the miracle of the tragedy was how many people escaped.
The Paradise example demonstrates the importance of transport networks for allowing swift evacuation during the response phase, and also hints at how important effective recovery of the transport network will be in Paradise, California. In the aftermath of any significant disaster event, it is the roads, railways and ports that underpin the restoration of economic activity and the reconstruction of critical infrastructure after a disaster. In the aftermath of devastating floods, earthquakes, landslides, or typhoons, roads may be rendered unusable, making it more expensive to transport goods and services as well as preventing people from earning income. As such, having multiple ways to get from point A to point B, by modality and by route, is critical to continued connectivity. The recovery phase can be the impetus to reexamine vulnerable links in the transport network and address those deficiencies to help reduce future risks and strengthen the economic and physical resilience of people and infrastructure assets.
- climate change adaptation
- Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)
- climate-smart transport
- climate risk
- transport infrastructure
- transport planning
- Disaster Resilience
- disaster disaster recovery
- Disaster Risk
- disaster risk management
- Resilient Transport
- sustainable mobility
- sustainable transport
- Sustainable Communities
- Urban Development
- Climate Change
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- United States
Over the past decade, the practice of disaster risk management (DRM) has evolved and matured. From mainly focusing on disaster response, local and international actors alike now emphasize the importance of preparedness and prevention – saving lives and avoiding losses even before disaster strikes.
Heavy rain and severe flooding brought the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka, to its knees. In China’s Yangtze River Basin, rivers spilled their banks, inundating towns and villages. In Mobile Bay, Alabama, strong ocean waves carried away valuable coastline.
In each of these locations, disasters caused by natural hazards seemed beyond human control. But instead of focusing only on building more drains, seawalls and dams, these governments turned to nature for protection from the disasters. Several years later, the urban wetlands, oyster reefs and flood plains they helped establish are now keeping their citizens safe while nourishing the local economies.