Fluvial and coastal (surge) flooding is one of the most devastating hazards, often featuring multi-hazard events, including strong winds and heavy rainfall. The humanitarian impacts of these events are often long lasting. When driven by tropical cyclones, the devastation can be even larger due to catastrophic wind speeds, with loss of life, loss of livelihoods, and the spread of disease.
Through CLARE Services Pillar, FCDO is piloting further development, and testing service delivery, of impact-oriented flood early warning advice for international humanitarian actors. This advice is provided in advance of, and during, flood events and include an assessment of likely flooding risk (i.e. hazard, exposure and vulnerability) related to ongoing or upcoming cyclones in LDCs. It is provided in the form of briefs that are produced through the work of experts from a consortium of academic, consultancy and operational centres. These briefs help FCDO and humanitarian actors anticipate which areas are likely to be hit the hardest and inform their responses, using cutting-edge and innovative science, research and data to improve decision making and interventions, and communicating this in a way that is actionable and leads to a positive impact on the ground. They use and build on underpinning research from an earlier phase funded by FCDO-predecessor Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) Research Programme.
The research consortium includes scientists from across the University of Reading, the University of Bristol, HR Wallingford, the European Centre of Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), and DAI Global.
The outcomes of the flood forecasting work have consistently led to improvements of decision making, including within international agencies including OCHA, IFRC. The use of these bulletins has improved interventions, helping reduce the scale of adverse humanitarian impact.
Some of the details of this innovative approach can be seen in Key Factors Influencing the Severity of Fluvial Flood Hazard from Tropical Cyclones in: Journal of Hydrometeorology Volume 22 Issue 7 (2021)