The year 2020 saw many countries and regions took hit hard by floods. Clouded in the ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the flood season in 2020 is set to be the most challenging one in our recent memory.
On August 27, 2020, IWHR, who hosts the ICFM (International Conference on Flood Management) Permanent Secretariat, organized in cooperation with ICFM a webinar “The Flood Challenge to Resilience”.
Focusing on the recent flood cases in their respective countries, experts from China, Canada, Japan and the US reflected upon the best practices to increase resilience. About 400 people watched the webinar via the live-streaming webpage.
Prof. Slobodan P. Simonovic, Chairperson of ICFM, chaired the webinar. He announced the postpone of the 8th International Conference on Flood Management (ICFM8) to August 9-11, 2021 due to the pandemic, and extended his invitation to the Conference to be organized at the University of Iowa. Prof. Simonovic also acknowledged the full support of IWHR and ICFM Permanent Secretariat to the ICFM webinar series.
Prof. Simonovic pointed out that the flooding in 2020 recorded new heights in terms of frequency and severity. Very often, the affected population relies on three critical factors to fight the floods: the government’s ability to prevent loss, the existence of physically resilient buildings, and the implementation of forward-looking municipal planning. While recovery actions play a role in helping communities get back on their feet, the building of resilient communities will ultimately help mitigate the damages and aid in the recovery process. The time for higher resiliency is now.
Prof. XIA Jun, Professor of Wuhan University, discussed the impact and causes of the floods in the Yangtze River of southern China, and briefed on the flood-control strategies implemented by the Chinese government.
Prof. Toshio Koike, Director of International Center for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM), presented on the 2020 Kyushu flood and analyzed the flood resiliency strategies amidst the pandemic.
Two researchers from Argonne National Laboratory of US Department of Energy introduced the Michigan Dam failure in May 2020. Dr. Molly Finster reviewed the background of the whole incident and its main timeline.
Dr. Carol Freeman delved into the details of evacuation in flood including the experience for the warning and protection of the communities.
In the Q & A session, the participants raised questions regarding flood prevention and disaster mitigation, cascade reservoir regulation, flood resilience, and follow-up measures after Michigan dam failure, etc.
Click here for the playback and presentation slides.