Published works

Published works

An analysis of human fatalities from floods in Australia 1900-2015

TitleAn analysis of human fatalities from floods in Australia 1900-2015
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsHaynes, K, Coates, L, de Oliveira, FDimer, Gissing, A, Bird, D, van den Honert, R, Radford, D, D'Arcy, R, Smith, C
Document Number166
Date Published05/2016
Report Number166

This report examines the socio-demographic and environmental circumstances surrounding flood fatalities in Australia between 1900 and 2015. It is the first major milestone from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre funded project “An analysis of human fatalities and building losses from natural disasters in Australia”.

The foundation for this work is the use of the Risk Frontiers’ database PerilAUS, which contains historical data on the incidence (magnitude, affected locations, etc.) and consequences (property damage and fatalities, etc.) of natural hazard events in Australia. PerilAUS contains many of the names of the deceased, which, during the course of this project has enabled the collection of more detailed information on the circumstances of many of the fatalities from coronial inquest reports. Since project commencement, the Flood Database has increased in total number of flood events by 75%. The number of fatal flood events has increased by 100% over the length of the project. Importantly, the percentage of named fatalities has increased from 50% to 90%, in addition to an increase in the overall numbers of fatalities.

The data has been analysed in relation to informing the understanding of the circumstances surrounding the deaths and how this information could best be utilised for emergency management policy and practice. This has included an examination of the data around the following themes: demographics, cause of death, location of the fatality and transport, activity and reason behind action prior to death, capacity and awareness, and flood type and severity. 

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