In the night of the February 28th, 2010, the French Atlantic coastline was struck by a particularly violent storm associated with a sea surge which caused the death of 47 people. The flooded zones where the victims were most numerous corresponded mainly to territories urbanized during the three last decades. For the population of the littoral, the civil protection and policy makers, the surprise was total and besides, the catastrophe was presented like a completely new phenomenon and thus unforeseeable. However, neighbouring countries close to France had coped with several similar events, sometimes more disastrous still, within the last 50 years. An example is the famous “Great storm” of 1953 which had caused the death of several thousands of people in Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and which had also struck the North of France, illustrating that in France the memory of these extreme events had apparently been lost. The idea of this book has a direct link with the so-called above mentioned Xynthia event. It was indeed suggested by the first author whose parents had been hit by the storm in the small town of Boyardville (Oléron Island) and who experienced a post-event confusion in the way expertise was used to delineate areas where houses at risk were to be destroyed and links with current policies far from being well explained and understood by concerned citizens. The very same event triggered discussions at EU level regarding the consideration of storm surges in the context of the EU Flood Directive and Integrated Coastal Zone Management related measures. It also encouraged the EU to design research topics in the 7th Framework Programme on Research and Development to better understand the mechanisms of such disaster-prone events and to provide an improved knowledge base supporting existing and developing policies. One of these projects was the so-called MICORE project (Morphological Impacts and COastal Risks induced by Extreme storm events, contract no. 202798) aiming to develop prototype Early Warning System (EWS) for predicting coastal storm risk. This paved the way for the currently running RISC-KIT project (Resilience-increasing Strategies for Coasts – Toolkit, contract no. 603458) which aims to develop methods, tools and management approaches with links with EU and national policies, and taking the historical dimension into consideration. The book hence starts by discussing the current regulatory framework related to coastal storms and flooding, with considerations about the need to develop a "culture of risks". It includes international and EU policies in the area of natural disaster reduction, civil protection and adaptation to climate change. This first chapter written by Philippe Quevauviller also discusses the need for a better interfacing of scientific knowledge and policies, with an accent on interactions among different actors and implementation needs. The second chapter focuses on the technical and scientific part related to the assessment of coastal storm risks. It is built on Paolo Ciavola's experience in the coordination of the above-mentioned MICORE project and his involvement in the RISC-KIT project leading the constructions of storm impact database in cooperation with Emmanuel Garnier, the author to the third chapter. The author provides a synthesis of gathered knowledge in the evaluation of coastal vulnerability, including mapping and modeling, and a summary of recommended disaster risk reduction measures. Finally, the historical knowledge dimension is fully developed in a third chapter written by Emmanuel Garnier. It focuses on understanding the mechanisms which may explain the magnitude of the Xynthia disaster occurring in a developed country, important member of the European Union, and in particular the example of the coastal town of La Faute-sur-Mer where 29 people of the same district died drowned in the night. For that purpose, the chapter discusses the process of the trajectory of vulnerability followed since the 18th century until 2010, with the objective to show how a lesson learned, extracted from historical documentation, could have contributed to reduce this vulnerability considerably, like it is done already in certain countries of Northern Europe. The book is aimed to address a wide readership covering the policy-making community, scientists and academia, practitioners as well as regional and coastal city authorities. It is hoped that the language will also be accessible to provide background information to citizens.

Management of the Effects of Coastal Storms: Policy, Scientific and Historical Perspectives

CIAVOLA, Paolo;
2017

Abstract

In the night of the February 28th, 2010, the French Atlantic coastline was struck by a particularly violent storm associated with a sea surge which caused the death of 47 people. The flooded zones where the victims were most numerous corresponded mainly to territories urbanized during the three last decades. For the population of the littoral, the civil protection and policy makers, the surprise was total and besides, the catastrophe was presented like a completely new phenomenon and thus unforeseeable. However, neighbouring countries close to France had coped with several similar events, sometimes more disastrous still, within the last 50 years. An example is the famous “Great storm” of 1953 which had caused the death of several thousands of people in Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and which had also struck the North of France, illustrating that in France the memory of these extreme events had apparently been lost. The idea of this book has a direct link with the so-called above mentioned Xynthia event. It was indeed suggested by the first author whose parents had been hit by the storm in the small town of Boyardville (Oléron Island) and who experienced a post-event confusion in the way expertise was used to delineate areas where houses at risk were to be destroyed and links with current policies far from being well explained and understood by concerned citizens. The very same event triggered discussions at EU level regarding the consideration of storm surges in the context of the EU Flood Directive and Integrated Coastal Zone Management related measures. It also encouraged the EU to design research topics in the 7th Framework Programme on Research and Development to better understand the mechanisms of such disaster-prone events and to provide an improved knowledge base supporting existing and developing policies. One of these projects was the so-called MICORE project (Morphological Impacts and COastal Risks induced by Extreme storm events, contract no. 202798) aiming to develop prototype Early Warning System (EWS) for predicting coastal storm risk. This paved the way for the currently running RISC-KIT project (Resilience-increasing Strategies for Coasts – Toolkit, contract no. 603458) which aims to develop methods, tools and management approaches with links with EU and national policies, and taking the historical dimension into consideration. The book hence starts by discussing the current regulatory framework related to coastal storms and flooding, with considerations about the need to develop a "culture of risks". It includes international and EU policies in the area of natural disaster reduction, civil protection and adaptation to climate change. This first chapter written by Philippe Quevauviller also discusses the need for a better interfacing of scientific knowledge and policies, with an accent on interactions among different actors and implementation needs. The second chapter focuses on the technical and scientific part related to the assessment of coastal storm risks. It is built on Paolo Ciavola's experience in the coordination of the above-mentioned MICORE project and his involvement in the RISC-KIT project leading the constructions of storm impact database in cooperation with Emmanuel Garnier, the author to the third chapter. The author provides a synthesis of gathered knowledge in the evaluation of coastal vulnerability, including mapping and modeling, and a summary of recommended disaster risk reduction measures. Finally, the historical knowledge dimension is fully developed in a third chapter written by Emmanuel Garnier. It focuses on understanding the mechanisms which may explain the magnitude of the Xynthia disaster occurring in a developed country, important member of the European Union, and in particular the example of the coastal town of La Faute-sur-Mer where 29 people of the same district died drowned in the night. For that purpose, the chapter discusses the process of the trajectory of vulnerability followed since the 18th century until 2010, with the objective to show how a lesson learned, extracted from historical documentation, could have contributed to reduce this vulnerability considerably, like it is done already in certain countries of Northern Europe. The book is aimed to address a wide readership covering the policy-making community, scientists and academia, practitioners as well as regional and coastal city authorities. It is hoped that the language will also be accessible to provide background information to citizens.
978-1-84821-762-1
Archives,Catastrophic remission,Charente-Maritime,Coastal management,Dike,History,La Faute-sur-Mer,Precautionary principle,Resilience,Sea surge,Seawall,Tidal wave,Urbanization,Vendée,Vulnerability,Xynthia (storm)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2368839
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