Towards a database on societal impact of Mediterranean floods within the framework of the HYMEX project
The NW Mediterranean region experiences every year heavy rainfall and flash floods that occasionally produce catastrophic damages. Less frequent are floods that affect large regions. Although a large number of databases devoted exclusively to floods or considering all kind of natural hazards do exist, usually they only record catastrophic flood events. This paper deals with the new flood database that is being developed within the framework of HYMEX project. Results are focused on four regions representative of the NW sector of Mediterranean Europe: Catalonia, Spain; the Balearic Islands, Spain; Calabria, Italy; and Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées and PACA, France. The common available 30-yr period starts in 1981 and ends in 2010. The paper shows the database structure and criteria, the comparison with other flood databases, some statistics on spatial and temporal distribution, and an identification of the most important events. The paper also provides a table that includes the date and affected region of all the catastrophic events identified in the regions of study, in order to make this information available for all audiences.