Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Evacuation no option for Randstad flood

07.12.2006
A flood in the southern Randstad (Netherlands) will claim thousands of victims. And evacuating the area would only save precious few lives, TU Delft researcher Bas Jonkman states in the latest edition of Delft Outlook (Delft Integraal).

If the seawalls at The Hague and Ter Heijde are breached and the fast-flowing seawater floods the polder land behind the dikes, there will be more than 4,000 casualties, according to a new calculation method devised by TU Delft PhD candidate Bas Jonkman.

Jonkman's method also reveals that evacuating this area would only save at most 600 lives. "It's possible to predict a North Sea storm a day or two in advance," Jonkman says. 'But before an evacuation could begin, the government would deliberate and everyone would have to be warned. Then, people would pack up their belongings. All this would cost a lot of time."

However, in the less densely populated polder lands along the rivers, if people were warned well enough in advance of an impending flood, Jonkman's model predicts that an evacuation would indeed save many lives. For the densely populated polders bordering the coastline, Jonkman says it would be more effective for example to build stronger and higher dikes, as this would reduce the likelihood of a flood.

Until now, various rules of thumb have been used to estimate the number of possible casualties resulting from a flood. Jonkman's model for estimating casualties is more precise. It consists of various parts, including a model that simulates an evacuation and thereby determines how many people would still be in the area if the dike were breached. Determining how many of these people would survive is dependent on how fast the water flows, how fast the water rises and how deep the water is. To make such predictions, Jonkman uses a model that was developed by TU Delft and the research institute WL Delft Hydraulics. Jonkman combined the models to simulate the evacuation and the course of the flood.

The majority of Jonkman's doctoral research was devoted to devising the so-called 'victim functions'. 'If the water is four meters deep, then 20 percent of the people in that area would not survive', is an example of how this function works. For the victim functions, Jonkman based his data on the calamitous flood in the Netherlands in 1953 and other such disasters. To determine if his model's findings were realistic, Jonkman also processed data from the floods caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, when the dikes protecting New Orleans were breached. Jonkman's model calculated 2,000 victims for that disaster – a figure that Jonkman is pleased with: "This is of the same order of magnitude as the 1,100 bodies that have actually been recovered so far."

An in-depth article about this research subject has been published in the latest edition of Delft Integraal / Delft Outlook, the independent science magazine of TU Delft. (www.delftintegraal.tudelft.nl –Dutch-).

Roy Meijer | alfa
Further information:
http://www.delftintegraal.tudelft.nl

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Equipping form with function
23.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity
23.06.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>