In August 2018, the state of Kerala in India was hit by severe flash floods, which carried heavy human and economic consequences. Flash floods are a particular type of flood disasters, characterized by their rapid onset and potential for infrastructure destruction. In this issue, we discuss flash floods and their global importance, and we present a field mission to Kerala undertaken by the CRED Team in partnership with the Indian NGO Doctors For You.
(Flash) Flood profile of India and Kerala
Between 1998 and 2017 climate-related and geophysical disasters killed 1.3 million people and left a further 4.4 billion injured, homeless, displaced or in need of emergency assistance. While the majority of fatalities were due to geophysical events, mostly earthquakes and tsunamis, 91% of all disasters were caused by floods, storms, droughts, heatwaves and other extreme weather events.
UN 20-year review: earthquakes and tsunamis kill more people while climate change is driving up economic losses
Background and objective: Understanding how natural disasters affect their victims is key to improve prevention and mitigation. Typhoon Haiyan strongly hit the Philippines in 2013. In Leyte, health staff of two hospitals had a key role as responders, but also as victims. Scarce literature is available on how health staff may be affected when being disasters' victims. We therefore aimed to understand Haiyan's impact for health staff at personal and work level.