Flood disaster - Flutkatastrophe
A flood disaster is the flood on the coast or that of a river that rises so high that the normal water levels are far exceeded and the beds and embankments can no longer hold back the water from the cultivated land , so that floods occur. The result is high property damage to buildings and infrastructure , crop damage and, in extreme cases, death. In the case of a flood with extremely high water levels, which occurs only very rarely, one speaks of a flood of the century .
Floods are divided into:
- the storm surge , water masses pressed onto the coasts by strong winds, which lead to floods in the coastal area, and backwater floods on the lower reaches of the rivers. These events occur within a few hours and their total duration depends on the flow behavior
- Precipitation-related floods caused by heavy rain events , the most basins also mostly from mountainous headwaters in which one or more flow system / s concern and congestion rainfall continue depart, for days in the lower reaches.
The tsunami (tidal wave) is not regarded as a flood in the sense of the term .
The reasons lie in the straightening and embankment of the rivers in order to make them navigable for the largest cargo ships possible, as well as in the drainage of entire stretches of land and thus the removal of the natural floodplain. Settlement right up to the dikes, even in areas that are repeatedly at risk of flooding, inevitably results in high losses in the event of flooding. Connections with global warming are suspected in both event types, in the former via the rising normal water level, in both via increased exceptional events in relation to wind and precipitation as consequences of global warming .
Historic flood disasters in Europe
Flood disasters on the Baltic Sea are described in more detail under Baltic Sea Storm Floods.
- Magdalen floods in 1342 on numerous Central European rivers
- Second Marcellus flood in 1362 on the entire German North Sea coast is by far the most powerful German flood disaster
- Floods of 1480 on the Aare and Rhine
- Flood of 1501
- Rhine and Lake Constance floods from 1566 
- Thuringian Flood 1613
- Winter floods of 1784
- Elbhochwasser 1845
- Flood in Saxony in 1897
- Flood in Hanover in 1946
- Oder flood disaster in 1947 with the flooding of the Oderbruch
- Donauhochwasser 1954
- June floods 1961
- Storm surge in Hamburg in 1962
- Oder winter floods 1981/82
- Rhine flood in 1993 , simultaneous flood on the Moselle and Maas
- Rhine flood in 1995
- Oder floods in 1997 on the Oder and tributaries
- Whitsun floods in 1999 in the Allgäu , Vorarlberg and Tyrol
- Floods in Central Europe in 2002
- Floods in the foothills of the Alps in 2005 on the Isar and other rivers
- Elbhochwasser 2006
- Oder flood 2010
- Floods in Central Europe in 2013
- First flood of Marcellus on January 16, 1219.
- Second flood of Marcellus, 1362
- Elisabethenflut 1404
- Elisabethenflut 1421 (fundamentally changed the estuaries of the Rhine, Maas and Schelde → Hollands Diep )
- Flood disaster of 1953 (Watersnood) on February 1, 1953
- Donauhochwasser 1954
- 1997: Numerous rivers burst their banks in southern Lower Austria . Particularly affected: Pittental , Schwarzatal , Piestingtal and Triestingtal .
- 2002: In Upper and Lower Austria numerous rivers burst their banks, large parts of the country are under water. The Danube and the Kamp were particularly affected . ( HQ100 , see floods in Central Europe 2002 )
- 2005: In the western federal states of Tyrol and Vorarlberg , rivers burst their banks after days of rain. Numerous mudslides partially paralyze public transport (see Alpine floods 2005 ).
- 2006: In Lower Austria the March overflows its banks and the dams do not hold up in contrast to those on the Slovak side. The villages of Dürnkrut and Mannersdorf are flooded. (HQ60)
- Floods in Central Europe in 2013
- 2005: (August) In Central Switzerland , Graubünden and Bern as well as in many other parts of Switzerland, villages are flooded by dam breaks or overflowing lakes or rivers. Several streets and train tracks are no longer passable. Individual villages (e.g. Engelberg ) are cut off from the outside world and can only be reached by helicopter (see Alpine flood 2005 ).
Historical flood disasters in other countries
- 1862: United States of America : 40 days of heavy rain caused by atmospheric rivers lead to the Great Flood of 1862 in the Pacific Northwest .  The disaster has recently been processed in the Arkstorm scenario of the United States Geological Survey . 
- 1887: China : Heavy rains cause a flood disaster on the Yellow River in 1887 ; Over 130,000 km² are flooded (between 900,000 and 2 million deaths)
- 1927: United States of America : Heavy rains cause the Mississippi flood in 1927 .
- 1931: China - Heavy rains followed by several cyclones , which caused severe flooding of the 20th century with an estimated 3.7 to 4 million deaths.
- 1938–1947: Flooding of the Yellow River with 890,000 dead
- 1953: Holland storm surge: the worst storm surge of the 20th century in the Netherlands and England (approx. 2,500 dead)
- 1970: Bengal - cyclones and tidal waves (over 300,000 dead)
- 1998: China - The Yangtze River overflows , more than 3,000 people are killed, around 14 million are left homeless.
- 2004: Indian Ocean tsunami in 15 countries simultaneously. (approx. 226,000 dead) (see: Earthquake in the Indian Ocean 2004 )
- 2005: USA - New Orleans is hit by Hurricane Katrina .
- 2006: Hungary , Romania and Bulgaria : The Danube overflows its banks in many places. Dams are opened to use uninhabited areas as retention basins. However, these floods sometimes become independent and wash away entire villages.
- 2007: Africa - The countries south of the Sahara are hit by a catastrophic flood across the entire continent. At least 250 people die.
- 2008: At the end of July in Romania and Ukraine , over 36,000 people have to be evacuated from a flood .
- 2008: At the end of August, after weeks of monsoon rains and a major dam breach in Nepal after widespread flooding in the Indian state of Bihar, over 1.2 million people have to flee the floods.
- 2010: Flood in Central Europe in the spring of 2010 High damage from dike breaches, particularly in Poland, was a characteristic of this flood.
- July and August 2010: Flood disaster in Pakistan in 2010 as a result of exceptionally heavy monsoon rain . Around 14 million people are affected, 6–7 million of them need humanitarian aid, over 1,000 people died (as of August 17, 2010).
- October 2010: In Benin the rivers Mono and Queme burst their banks due to persistent heavy rainfall .  680,000 people are affected by floods,  around 100,000 people are made homeless.  In the city of Cotonou, around 800 people are infected with cholera . 
- 2011: Floods in Queensland 2010/2011 : 200,000 people had to be evacuated and 35 people lost their lives.
- 2011: Heavy rainfall and melting snow trigger the Mississippi flood in 2011 .
- 2013: Floods in Central Europe in 2013 , in addition to Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Danube countries were also affected.
- 2015: Floods in Ghana in 2015
Prehistoric flood disasters
- About 7,600 years ago, after the end of the last glacial period , the water level in the Mediterranean rose so much that the depression of the Bosporus was flooded by about 100 m. After that, a huge waterfall could have poured into the Black Sea , which was a freshwater lake during the cold period. The water incursion left a ravine wash along the coastline that has survived to this day.  This theory is not generally accepted; numerous research results contradict it.    
- About 10,200 to 9400 years ago, when the glacial lake Agassiz melted, a powerful flood occurred several times in the Minnesota area . 
- About 10,700 years ago, at the end of the last glacial period , the waters of the Ancylussee (today: Baltic Sea ) broke towards the North Sea . The resulting trench-like river bed between Fehmarn and Lolland is now submarine and about 1 km wide. While the water level of the Ancylussee fell by 10 m, the sea to the east of Kiel and Lübeck flooded what was then the mainland. 
- The largest known flood to date occurred around 14,000 years ago due to the melting of ice reservoirs in the Altai , Chuja and Kuray Basins. 
- In the period 15,000 to 13,000 years ago, the mighty Missoula floods occurred repeatedly when the ice reservoirs of Lake Missoula in North America melted.
- According to a theory by Andrey Tchepalyga, around 16,000 years ago, the Caspian Sea was swiftly inundated by river water from melting Scandinavian glaciers and merged with what was then the Black Sea . 
- About 425,000 and 225,000 years ago, but also after the last glacial period, large water breakthroughs occurred in the area of the then isthmus between Dover and Calais, which led to the widening and deepening of the current dimensions of the English Channel .  The then most water-rich European river system consisting of the Rhine , Seine and Thames was replaced by an arm of the sea. 
- About 5.33 million years ago, the then dry Mediterranean basin was filled by water from the Atlantic on the Strait of Gibraltar . Presumably, at least in part, this flooding was not catastrophic. The resulting moat was about 200 km long and up to 11 km wide and let about 100 million cubic meters of water flow in per second. The maximum water level in the Mediterranean rose by 10 m per day, and within two years the water levels had equalized.  
- Dartmouth Flood Observatory . Website with a comprehensive flood disaster database
- Self-help: basement drainage without a pump using the siphon principle (PDF)
- THW website on dike defense and flood protection
- Flood disasters (Frankfurter Zeitung, January 12, 1915)
- Karl Heinz Burmeister: The "second deluge". The Rhine and Lake Constance floods of 1566 , in: Writings of the Association for the History of Lake Constance and its Surroundings , 124th year 2006, pp. 111-137 ( digitized version )
- Summary of the ArkStorm scenario of the US Geological Survey from: Keith Porter, Anne Wein, Charles Alpers, Allan Baez, Patrick Barnard, James Carter, Alessandra Corsi, James Costner, Dale Cox, Tapash Das, Michael Dettinger, James Done, Charles Eadie, Marcia Eymann, Justin Ferris, Prasad Gunturi, Mimi Hughes, Robert Jarrett, Laurie Johnson, Hanh Dam Le-Griffin, David Mitchell, Suzette Morman, Paul Neiman, Anna Olsen, Suzanne Perry, Geoffrey Plumlee, Martin Ralph, David Reynolds , Adam Rose, Kathleen Schaefer, Julie Serakos, William Siembieda, Jonathan Stock, David Strong, Ian Sue Wing, Alex Tang, Pete Thomas, Ken Topping, directed by Chris Wills and Lucile Jones; Project manager Dale Cox (201)Overview of the ARkStorm scenario: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1312, 183 Seiten zuzüglich Anhängen
- Floods in Benin. In: http://www.dw-world.de/ . Deutsche Welle, October 19, 2010, accessed October 25, 2010 .
- Benin: 680,000 affected by heavy rainfall. (No longer available online.) In: http://www.unhcr.de/ . UNHCR, October 22, 2010, formerly in the original ; Retrieved October 25, 2010 . ( Page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Wilder Planet: The Flood ( Memento from September 21, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) April 22, 2007 on ZDF
- Ali Aksu et al. , GSA Today Vol. 12, pp. 4–10, referenced in Bild der Wissenschaft, April 26, 2002 ( Memento from February 11, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
- Valentina Yanko-Hombach: The Black Sea flood question: Changes in coastline, climate and human settlement. Springer, Dordrecht 2007.
- Valentina Yanko-Hombach: Current status of the Early Holocene Flood hypothesis in the Black Sea, IGC 2008
- HPQ-02 Black Sea?Mediterranean Corridor during last 30 ky: Sea level change and human adaptation, Referenzen zum 33. International Geological Congress Oslo 2008
- Timothy G. Fisher: River Warren boulders, Minnesota, USA: catastrophic paleflow indicatorsin the southern spillway of glacial Lace Agassiz. In: Boreas, Band 33, Seiten 349–358, 2004 Archivlink (Memento vom 29. Oktober 2013 im Internet Archive) (PDF; 2,8 MB)
- Axel Bojanowski : Geologists discover ditches from the Baltic Sea deluge
- scinexx the knowledge magazine: Gigantic super flood
- Andrey Tchepalyga: Late glacial great flood in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. The Geological Society of America 2003 Seattle Annual Meeting. 2003 
- Quirin Schiermeier on nature.com: The megaflood that made Britain an island, July 18, 2007
- Article “The English Channel was a river 20,000 years ago” in “ Berliner Morgenpost ”, Saturday, September 16, 2006.
- Kenneth J. Hsü: The Mediterranean was a desert. On research trips with the Glomar Challenger. P. 112, Harnack, Munich 1984.
- D. Garcia-Castellanos et al.: Catastrophic flood of the Mediterranean after the Messinian salinity crisis. In: Nature Bd. 462, 10. Dezember 2009, S. 778–781, doi:10.1038/nature08555