5. What would be the consequences of storm surges?

  • Human loss
  • Flooding = environmental loss & & economic cost

Hurricanes account for more hurricane deaths than any by winds. Low-income countries, in particular are susceptible to very significant damage, e.g. El Salvador, Yemen, Mozambique. Urban areas in these countries lack an infrastructure that can cope with storm drainage and what exists is often old and neglected.

Hallegatte et al (2008) using Copenhagen as a case study, showed that was not highly vulnerable to storm surges and coastal floods. Man-made defences, are necessary, as without them, economic losses caused by a current 10 yr storm surge event, would reach Euros 2.5 billion Without man-made defences, sea level rise would increase coastal flood risks in a significant manner, i.e. 50 cm of sea level rise would increase by 55% the losses caused by the 120-yr event, from Euros 3 to 5 billion.

St├ęphane Hallegatte ,Nicola Patmore , Olivier Mestre, Patrice Dumas, Jan Corfee Morlot, Celine Herweijer and Robert Muir, 2008. Assessing Climate Change Impacts, Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Risk in Port Cities: A Case Study on Copenhagen, OECD Environment Working Paper, No. 3.