Assessing the exposure to floods to estimate the risk of flood-related damage in French Mediterranean basins
1 Irstea Aix-en-Provence, 3275 route Cézanne, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
2 UMR ESPACE 7300 CNRS, University of Avignon, 74 Rue Louis Pasteur, Case 19, 84000 Avignon, France
3 UMR GRED, University of Montpellier, Route de Mende, 34199 Montpellier cedex 5, France
a Corresponding author: email@example.com
The dreadful floods of 1999, 2002 and 2003 in South of France have alerted public opinion on the need for a more efficient and a further generalized national flood-forecasting system. This is why in 2003 Irstea and Meteo-France have implemented a new warning method for flash floods, including on small watersheds, using radar rainfall data in real-time: the AIGA method. This modelling method currently provides real-time information on the magnitude of floods, but doesn’t take into account the elements at risk surrounding the river streams. Its benefit for crisis management is therefore limited as it doesn’t give information on the actual flood risk. To improve the relevance of the AIGA method, this paper shows the benefits of the combination of hydrological warnings with an exposure index, to be able to assess the risk of flood-related damage in real time. To complete this aim, this work presents an innovative and easily reproducible method to evaluate exposure to floods over large areas with simple land-use data. For validation purpose, a damage database has been implemented to test the relevance of both AIGA warnings and exposure levels. A case study on the floods of the 3rd October 2015 is presented to test the effectiveness of the combination of hazard and exposure to assess the risk of flood-related damage. This combination seems to give an accurate overview of the streams at risk, where the most important amount of damage has been observed after the flood.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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