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Natural Hazards

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 375–408 | Cite as

The relevance of flood hazards and impacts in Turkey: What can be learned from different disaster loss databases?

  • Gamze Koç
  • Annegret H. Thieken
Original Paper
  • 258 Downloads

Abstract

Turkey has been severely affected by many natural hazards, in particular earthquakes and floods. Especially over the last two decades, these natural hazards have caused enormous human and economic damage. Although there is a large body of literature on earthquake hazards and risks in Turkey, comparatively little is known about flood hazards and risks. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the severity of flooding in comparison with other natural hazards in Turkey and to analyse the flood patterns by providing an overview of the temporal and spatial distribution of flood losses. These will act as a metric for the societal and economic impacts of flood hazards in Turkey. For this purpose, Turkey Disaster Database (TABB) was used for the years 1960–2014. As input for more detailed event analyses, the most severe flood events in Turkey for the same time interval will also be retrieved. Sufficiency of the TABB database to achieve the main aim of the study in terms of data quality and accuracy was also discussed. The TABB database was analysed and reviewed through comparison, mainly with the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT), the Global Active Archive of Large Flood Events—Dartmouth Flood Observatory database, news archives and the scientific literature, with a focus on listing the most severe flood event. The comparative review of these data sources reveals big mismatches in the flood data, i.e. the reported number of events, number of affected people and economic loss all differ dramatically. Owing to the fact that the TABB is the only disaster loss database for Turkey, it is important to explore the reasons for the mismatches between TABB and the other sources with regard to aspects of accuracy and data quality. Therefore, biases and fallacies in the TABB loss data are also discussed. The comparative TABB database analyses show that large mismatches between global and national databases can occur. Current global and national databases for monitoring losses from national hazards suffer from a number of limitations, which in turn could lead to misinterpretations of the loss data. Since loss data collection is gaining more and more attention, e.g. in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, this study offers a framework for developing guidelines for the Turkey Disaster Database (TABB), implications on how to standardize national loss databases and implement across the other hazard events in Turkey.

Keywords

Historic natural hazards Floods Disaster loss databases Flood impacts Turkey 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was undertaken as part of the “ITN - ALErT: Anatolian pLateau climatE and Tectonic hazards” Project, funded within the European Union (EU) Marie Curie Actions programme “Initial Training Networks (ITN)” under grant agreement FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN (no. 607996).

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Earth and Environmental ScienceUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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