About 1.81 billion people, or 23% of the world's population, are directly exposed to 100-year floods of more than 15 centimeters, according to a study published on Tuesday in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

Among these people, 780 million live on less than 5.50 dollars a day, continues the study which crossed data on the risks of floods from rivers, rains and the sea, and data from the World Bank. on population distribution and poverty.

East and South Asia, including China and India, concentrate 1.24 billion people affected by this threat.

“This poses major risks to lives and livelihoods, especially for the most vulnerable populations,” according to the study.

Nearly 90% of those exposed live in poor or middle-income countries.

More vulnerable populations

According to the researchers, about 12% of the world's GDP in 2020 is in risk areas.

But considering only the monetary aspect can create a bias by focusing attention on rich countries and economic centers, they warn.

“Low-income countries are disproportionately exposed to flood risk and are more vulnerable to disastrous long-term impacts,” finds the study by Jun Rentschler of the World Bank and colleagues.

This study provides "the first global assessment between exposure to flood risk and poverty", notes Thomas McDermott, of the National University of Galway in Ireland, in a commentary published in

Nature Communications


Climate change and poorly designed urbanization are expected to compound these risks in coming years, the researchers warn.


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