World Bank: 1.8 billion people worldwide at risk of flooding

International Business News  –  A team of researchers from the World Bank and others recently compiled the results of an analysis that about 1.8 billion people worldwide live in areas that could be flooded by more than 15 centimeters in a “once-in-a-century” flood, with about 1.6 billion people concentrated in low- and middle-income countries, which the team warned “would have catastrophic effects “. Some 36 million people in Japan are also said to be at risk of such flooding.

The study also predicts that even 15 centimeters of flooding will disrupt economic activities and livelihoods, and that the population at risk of flooding “will increase further in the future due to climate change,” stressing the urgency of taking countermeasures.

The study was conducted in 188 countries, including Japan. The research team calculated the population in areas at risk of flooding, such as river flooding, tsunamis, and large waves due to rainfall and melting snow, and analyzed them in relation to poverty levels.

It is estimated that about 1.81 billion people, equivalent to 23% of the global population, live in places where flooding would exceed 15 centimeters in a 100-year flood. About 1.06 billion people are said to be at risk of being affected by more than 50 centimeters of flooding.

Among the countries with 15 cm of flooding, China and India live about 390 million people respectively, followed by Bangladesh with about 90 million people, the top Asian countries. Japan is ranked tenth with about 36 million people. The study noted that the countries in front of “the population is concentrated along the major rivers and coastal areas.”

The team said that flood protection facilities in areas with adequate disaster levels will be lower than predicted, but 89 percent of those at risk live in low- and middle-income countries, with about 170 million people living in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day. At $5.50 a day, that comes to about 780 million people. It was also emphasized that the situation in low-income countries is different from that in countries such as Japan, where the government is expected to quickly start support after the disaster.