Earth’s floods mapped: UN develops an interactive tool that reveals street-level resolution maps of floods worldwide since 1985 

- Advertisement -


  • The World Flood Mapping Tool is Global but with a Special Focus on the South
  • This is where flood risk maps are scarce and often horribly out of date, the UN said.
  • United Nations Institute for Water, Environment and Health creates new mapping tool
  • It uses Google Earth Engine to show flood data from NASA Landsat satellites
  • Tool lets users adjust variables to help detect deficiencies in flood protection
  • This may allow for more accurate predictions and future flood defense planning.

- Advertisement -

The United Nations has developed a new tool that reveals the location of all floods on Earth since 1985, which it says will help officials plan for future disasters.

NS world flood mapping tool The United Nations said it would be particularly useful for countries in the Global South, where flood risk maps are scarce and often poor.

advertisement

It was created by the United Nations Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) in Hamilton, Canada with support from Google, MapBox and other partners.

It uses the Google Earth engine to show flood data, which comes primarily from the NASA Landsat satellites, with information dating back to 1985.

- Advertisement -

The tool lets users adjust variables to help detect gaps in flood protection and responses, and to plan where to build or upgrade infrastructure, as well as project future housing and industry development. To show a flood-safe location for.

It was created by the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health in Hamilton, Canada, with support from Google, MapBox and other partners.

The map lets users zoom in at street level, showing existing water areas in dark blue and flooded areas resulting from flooding at points in the past in red

The map lets users zoom in at street level, showing existing water areas in dark blue and flooded areas resulting from flooding at points in the past in red

Improvements to the previous flood map system

  • Improved resolution of flood maps to 30m resolution, enabling citywide level analysis
  • Focus on the Global South, where data and information gaps are predominant and annual losses due to flooding are high
  • Improved accuracy of flood maps using data from multiple satellite sensors
  • Better accuracy and shorter development time of flood risk maps using AI models
advertisement

In the past decade, floods have affected the lives of more than half a billion people, mainly in low- and middle-income countries.

This has resulted in losses of around US$500 billion, roughly equivalent to Singapore’s GDP, and the problem is getting worse.

“The recent floods around the world have sharply increased the number of lives, damages and deaths,” said UNU-Inveh director Vladimir Smakhtin.

‘An estimated 1.5 billion people – more than the population of Europe – live at increased risk of severe flooding.

‘We need to prepare now for more rapid and more frequent flooding due to climate change and hope this tool will help developing countries in particular to see and mitigate risks more clearly .’

A UNU-Inveh survey previously showed that most of the flood forecasting centers in flood-prone countries lack the ability to run complex flood forecasting models.

“As temperatures continue to rise, the number of flood events will also increase,” said Hamid Mahmood, GIS and remote sensing specialist at UNU-Inveh.

He said floods in Europe like this year, which killed more than 200 people and caused billions of dollars in damage, are now nine times more likely to be caused by climate change.

These instrument-generated maps show the extent of the 2019 Red River floods in Minnesota.  Areas in red indicate the extent of flooding beyond the normal water level.

These instrument-generated maps show the extent of the 2019 Red River floods in Minnesota. Areas in red indicate the extent of flooding beyond the normal water level.

‘No place is immune. And yet remarkably few regions, even wealthy countries, have useful, up-to-date flood maps because of the cost and difficulty of making them.’

Flood mapping data is available at 100 ft resolution, which means it will show flooding in an area covering a portion of a street, giving very localized information.

The first release is intended primarily for use by policy officers and aid agencies who wish to receive support for future flood risk locations, but future versions may be used by insurance firms, as it includes even more precise buildings. -level resolution.

It layers Landsat information for selected areas and a specified time frame to identify temporary and permanent water bodies.

This map, drawn using the tool, shows the extent of floods (red) in Kaproon, Austria, over the past decade

This map, drawn using the tool, shows the extent of floods (red) in Kaproon, Austria, over the past decade

Researchers say floods in Europe this year (like the one pictured in Kaproon, Austria in July), which killed more than 200 people and caused billions of dollars in damage, are now nine times more likely to be caused by climate change.

Researchers say floods in Europe this year (like the one pictured in Kaproon, Austria in July), which killed more than 200 people and caused billions of dollars in damage, are now nine times more likely to be caused by climate change.

Case studies used to confirm UN flood map tool

Australia, Queensland, 11 – 18 February, 2008

Severe weather and intense rain hit the central coast of Queensland, with some rain stations receiving over 600 mm of rain in just six hours.

Insurance companies paid approximately US$297 million, and repairs to road and drainage infrastructure cost an estimated US$32 million.

Bangladesh, Dhaka, 2017

Three major flood events affected more than 8 million people and resulted in the loss of life, severe damage to housing, infrastructure, and affected crops and livestock across the country.

This resulted in heavy rains from late March to early April, with a focus on the northeastern region of the country, where more than 850,000 homes were affected, and 220,000 acres of finished rice were damaged. .

Cambodia, Phnom Penh, 2011

In 2011, floods affected 18 of 24 provinces, damaged infrastructure and agriculture, and directly affected more than 1.2 million people.

Canada, Red River, April 2019

The Red River, which originates in Minnesota and North Dakota and flows north from Manitoba to Hudson Bay, was prone to massive flooding in the 1950s and 2011.

The study area focused on agricultural land and small communities between Winnipeg and the US border that were flooded in April 2019.

.

- Advertisement -
Mail Us For  DMCA / Credit  Notice

Recent Articles

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

Related Stories