Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 1519-1540, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-16-1519-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
01 Jul 2016
The flood of June 2013 in Germany: how much do we know about its impacts?
Annegret H. Thieken1, Tina Bessel2,6, Sarah Kienzler1, Heidi Kreibich3,6, Meike Müller4, Sebastian Pisi5, and Kai Schröter3,6 1University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24–25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
2Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Economics (ECON), Waldhornstrasse 27, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
3Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 5.4 Hydrology, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
4Deutsche Rückversicherung AG, NatCat-Center, Hansaallee 177, 40549 Düsseldorf, Germany
5German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV), UN Campus, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany
6CEDIM – Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
Abstract. In June 2013, widespread flooding and consequent damage and losses occurred in Central Europe, especially in Germany. This paper explores what data are available to investigate the adverse impacts of the event, what kind of information can be retrieved from these data and how well data and information fulfil requirements that were recently proposed for disaster reporting on the European and international levels. In accordance with the European Floods Directive (2007/60/EC), impacts on human health, economic activities (and assets), cultural heritage and the environment are described on the national and sub-national scale. Information from governmental reports is complemented by communications on traffic disruptions and surveys of flood-affected residents and companies.

Overall, the impacts of the flood event in 2013 were manifold. The study reveals that flood-affected residents suffered from a large range of impacts, among which mental health and supply problems were perceived more seriously than financial losses. The most frequent damage type among affected companies was business interruption. This demonstrates that the current scientific focus on direct (financial) damage is insufficient to describe the overall impacts and severity of flood events.

The case further demonstrates that procedures and standards for impact data collection in Germany are widely missing. Present impact data in Germany are fragmentary, heterogeneous, incomplete and difficult to access. In order to fulfil, for example, the monitoring and reporting requirements of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 that was adopted in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan, more efforts on impact data collection are needed.


Citation: Thieken, A. H., Bessel, T., Kienzler, S., Kreibich, H., Müller, M., Pisi, S., and Schröter, K.: The flood of June 2013 in Germany: how much do we know about its impacts?, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 1519-1540, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-16-1519-2016, 2016.
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Short summary
In June 2013, widespread flooding and consequent damage and losses occurred in central Europe, especially in Germany. The paper explores what data are available to investigate the adverse impacts of the event, what kind of information can be retrieved from these data, and how good data and information fulfil requirements that were recently proposed for disaster reporting on the European and international level, e.g. by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030.
In June 2013, widespread flooding and consequent damage and losses occurred in central Europe,...
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