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Compound hazards yield Louisiana flood

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Science  23 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6306, pp. 1374
DOI: 10.1126/science.aai8579

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  • RE: Why were millions of livestock drowned in the Chinese flood?
    • Xiaofeng Gao, Department of Urban Engineering, The University of Tokyo
    • Other Contributors:
      • Qian Zhang, Project Researcher, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Victoria
      • Yilu Gu, Department of Urban Engineering, The University of Tokyo

    ON 19-20 AUGUST 2018, the typhoon Rumbia triggered extreme rainfall event and serious flooding in Shouguang, Weifang city, Shandong Province. This flood caused 14 deaths, and 2 missing and at least 10,635 collapsed houses. Especially, about 4.214 million livestock & poultry were drowned, including 74, 000 pigs, 4.14 million poultry and others (1-2). This unexpected disaster has aroused public attention to disaster risk reduction and management (DRR&M).

    In recent decades, when China is pursuing rapid economic development, potential disaster risks have often been ignored. In the case of Shouguang, many greenhouses and animal farms have been constructed on the dry riverbed of Mihe River due to the declining rainfall in the past years. What’s more, the improper dumpling sites in the waterways deteriorate the disastrous results when encountering flood. Finally, this flood has caused US$1.34 billion in direct economic losses in Weifang.

    To avoid such loss, the core strategy is to strengthen the research of DRR&M including accurate assessment of disaster damage and risk management (3-4). Though it is impossible to prevent the natural disasters, the vulnerability can be reduced through preventing, mitigating, and transferring the exposure. The hazard identification and measuring systems (5), coupling with land-use planning are also needed. Due to the lack of risk awareness for disasters, such potentially high-risk zone is not rare in China.

    Not onl...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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