Sinlung /
19 August 2013

The 20 Cities Most Vulnerable to Flooding

Researchers have just figured out which cities across the globe face the highest risk from coastal flooding.

To do so, they compiled data on 136 coastal cities with more than 1 million residents, looking at the elevation of the cities, the population distribution and the types of flood protection they had, such as levees or storm-surge barriers.

They then combined that data with forecasts of sea level rise, ground sinking due to groundwater depletion, as well as population growth projections and economic forecasts of gross domestic product (GDP). From there, they used the depth of water flooding a city to estimate the cost of the damage.

In both their best- and worst-case projections of sea level rise, the yearly global cost reached higher than $1 trillion. The most vulnerable city was Guangzhou, China, followed by Mumbai and Kolkata in India, Guayaquil, Ecuador and Shenzen, China. Almost all cities at the highest risk of flooding damage were in North America or Asia.

Here are the top 20 most vulnerable cities:

1. Guangzhou, China
2. Mumbai, India
3. Kolkata, India
4. Guayaquil, Ecuador
5. Shenzen, China
6. Miami, Fla.
7. Tianjin, China
8. New York, N.Y.—Newark, N.J.
9. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
10. New Orleans, La.
11. Jakarta, Indonesia
12. Abidjan, Ivory Coast
13. Chennai, India
14. Surat, India
15. Zhanjiang, China
16. Tampa—St. Petersburg, Fla.
17. Boston, Mass.
18. Bangkok, Thailand
19. Xiamen, China
20. Nagoya, Japan

Source: livescience

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