Mapping future disasters, to assess risk and prepare

Updated: 2013-10-28 17:02


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Mapping future disasters, to assess risk and prepare

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Yuyao in Zhejiang province suffered its worst flooding in a century in mid-October when a storm lashed the town, cutting it off from the outside world.

People suddenly realized how easily houses could be inundated with water. People looking to buy property may wish to have a flood risk map at hand before investing.

Qu Yizhong, senior researcher at Factory Mutual Insurance Company, recently presented his newly developed approach of mapping large-scale floods by using a hydraulic model, at the 35th World Congress of the Inter-national Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research.

"Given accurate topographic information and historical rainfall data, the model can produce a precise map of the flood inundation for a large area, so government and businesses can assess the risk and prepare," Qu explains.

Qu earned his doctoral degree at Pennsylvania State University in the United States. His research interest focuses on developing hydrological and hydraulic models, flood risk assessment, and flood disaster evaluation. "The pluvial flood caused by excessive rainfall overwhelming the drainage network is a significant source of risk," says Qu. He has been working on the assessment of the flood risk since 2006, and is now working for the Center for Property Risk Solutions at FM Global, a leading property insurer headquar-tered in Johnston, Rhode Island, US.

China suffers from flooding every year. According to State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, this year's flood in Northeast China in September was the largest since 1998, and has caused direct economic loss of around 33 billion yuan ($5.39 billion).

In early October, there was another flood brought by typhoon Fitow, that affected many cities in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces. It forced millions of people to evacuate their homes.

Mapping future disasters, to assess risk and prepare

Mapping future disasters, to assess risk and prepare

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