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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  03 Aug 2020

03 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

EUFF (EUropean Flood Fatalities): A European flood fatalities database since 1980

Olga Petrucci1, Luigi Aceto1, Cinzia Bianchi2, Victoria Bigot3, Rudolf Brázdil4,5, Moshe Inbar6, Abdullah Kahraman7, Özgenur Kılıç7, Vassiliki Kotroni8, Maria Carmen Llasat9, Montserrat Llasat-Botija9, Michele Mercuri1, Katerina Papagiannaki8, Susana Pereira10, Jan Řehoř4,5, Joan Rossello Geli11, Paola Salvati2, Freddy Vinet3, and José Luis Zêzere10 Olga Petrucci et al.
  • 1CNR-IRPI National Research Council-Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection, 87036 Rende (Cosenza), Italy
  • 2CNR-IRPI National Research Council-Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection, 06128 Perugia, Italy
  • 3University Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, 34090 Montpellier, France
  • 4Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, 61137 Brno, Czech Republic
  • 5Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, 60300 Brno, Czech Republic
  • 6Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa, 33000 Haifa, Israel
  • 7Department of Meteorological Engineering, Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Samsun University, Ondokuzmayis, Samsun 55420, Turkey
  • 8Institute of Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Athens, Greece
  • 9Department of Applied Physics, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
  • 10Centro de Estudos Geográficos, Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território, Universidade de Lisboa, 1600-276 Lisbon, Portugal
  • 11Grup de Climatologia, Hidrologia, Riscs i Paisatge, Universitat Illes Balears, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Abstract. Despite the current developments in flood forecasting and emergency management, floods still consist a significant threat to people and properties. At a national level in Europe, data on flood fatalities are fragmentary and they are mainly focused on death toll, without providing further details regarding victims' characteristics or the circumstances under which the deadly events have taken place. However, such details could enlighten us on what happened wrong when there was a victim due to a flood, and what measures should be taken in order to avoid similar events in the future. This paper presents the EUFF 2020 database (EUropean Flood Fatalities-FF) (EUropean Flood Fatalities-FF) (, Petrucci et al., 2020) which collects data from 2483 flood deadly cases occurred in a 39-year period (1980–2018) in 8 countries and 9 (two belong in Spain) study areas (Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, South France, Catalonia and Balearic Islands). EUFF 2020 (Petrucci et al., 2020) attempts to shed light on fatal flood events in the Euro-Mediterranean region under various geomorphological and climatic settings. The paper presents both regional and super-regional analyses from gender, age, conditions, activity of fatalities and dynamics of the accidents point of view aiming to contribute to a better understanding of the population exposure to floods phenomena. The historical research, which was carried out by using local documentary sources, highlights that 64.8 % of FF have been due to flood events in which less than 10 people were killed. Due to this relatively small number of losses, these events have not been recorded in the international disaster databases. Flood events causing single and multiple fatalities occurred throughout the period of our analysis without showing any particular remarkable trend. Data confirm that victim’s gender only, is not a de facto driver of social vulnerability. In addition, females flood fatalities are quantitatively more than males. Males' vulnerability depends on a stronger exposure to floods, due to the higher proportion of males driving vehicles, doing outdoorsworking activities and sometimes undertaking risky actions. The majority of fatalities are people in their most productive working age (between 30 and 64 years old), who are exposed to floods outdoor while heading from home to work or vice-versa. Elderly people (in status of retirement) seem to be more frequently affected while being indoor, trapped by the flood in their premises, while adults and children are dragged outdoors. Driving car or any other kind of vehicles are the most frequent conditions of victims in all studied areas, for both males and females, as widely stated in literature. The EUFF 2020 database can be extended spatially and temporally, and it represents a European database of high scientific and practical potential for further use in various scientific disciplines. We hope, EUFF 2020 database will further motivate researchers to enrich with even more data on flood fatalities from their home countries. Spatial extension will allow the comparison of local frameworks in broader European scale and the identification of useful general and local features of risk management and educational campaigns. We believe that the followed pan-European approach, frames the anticipation of flood fatality risk into a broader context, promising benefit for diverse scientific disciplines and contributing to public policies and civil protection campaigns in order to reduce the number of floods' fatalities in the future.

Olga Petrucci et al.

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Olga Petrucci et al.

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Short summary
EUFF 2020 database (EUropean Flood Fatalities-FF) contains 2483 flood fatalities (1980–2018) occurred in 8 countries. Gender, age, activity of FF and dynamics of accidents were obtained from documentary sources. 64.8 % of FF were killed by floods killing less than 10 people. Males were more numerous than females due higher proportion of them driving and working outdoors. FF 30–64 years old died traveling to home/work, driving vehicles dragged by water. Elderly people were trapped indoor by flood.
EUFF 2020 database (EUropean Flood Fatalities-FF) contains 2483 flood fatalities (1980–2018)...