The Pacific and Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are susceptible to many hydro-meteorological and other hazards, namely tropical storms and hurricanes, thunderstorms or lightning, coastal storm surges, floods, flash floods, coastal flooding, river flooding, tsunamis, drought, strong winds, heat waves, and dust or haze. These hazards have the potential to cause coastal erosion, landslides, mudslides, epidemics, and the movement and spread of toxic substances and volcanic material.
Flash floods are among the world’s deadliest natural disasters with more than 5,000 lives lost annually and result in significant social, economic and environmental impacts. Accounting for approximately 85% of the flooding cases, flash floods also have the highest mortality rate (defined as the number of deaths per number of people affected) among different classes of flooding (e.g., riverine, coastal).
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges to human society in contemporary times. Statistics show that the last decades have already seen a sharp rise in economic, social and environmental damages due to climate and weather-related natural hazards – and scientists expect the frequency and intensity of such extreme to rise due to climate change.