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The 2008 Floods in Queensland: A Case Study of Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptive Capacity Armando Apan, Diane U. Keogh, David King, Melanie Thomas,

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Presentation on theme: "The 2008 Floods in Queensland: A Case Study of Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptive Capacity Armando Apan, Diane U. Keogh, David King, Melanie Thomas,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The 2008 Floods in Queensland: A Case Study of Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptive Capacity Armando Apan, Diane U. Keogh, David King, Melanie Thomas, Shahbaz Mushtaq, Stephen Hinkler, Peter Baddiley

2 Wave of floods sweeps the globe Vaal dam overflows - Johannesburg, South Africa Source: Smith (2011) Toowoomba, Queensland flash floods Source: Flickr (Timothy 2011) Brisbane River during the Jan floods in Australia Source: NASA Earth Observatory 2011 Brazil floods & landslides Source: ABC News (2011) Pakistan Floods Source: New York Times (2010)

3 The 2008 Floods in Queensland – Historic Case Studies: Mackay and Charleville Mackay – coastal city Charleville – rural town

4 A Case Study of Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptive Capacity: Theoretical Framework Vulnerable - “A set of conditions and processes that determine the likelihood of exposure and the resulting susceptibility of humans or human systems to the adverse effects of a flood or other hazard” (Few 2006) Resilience - Ability to return to former state Resilience – “The capacity of a system, community or society potentially exposed to hazards to adapt, by resisting or changing in order to reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning and structure” (Hyogo Framework 2005) Adaptive Capacity - Ability to change to accommodate new state Adaptation - “change and the practice of individuals, communities and societies as they adjust their locations, life courses and activities to maximise new opportunities” (Nelson et al. 2007)

5 IPCC Report - Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability Chapter 7: Industry, settlement and society “Climate-change vulnerabilities of industry, settlement and society are mainly related to extreme weather events rather than to gradual climate change (very high confidence).”

6 Flood Types 1. Flash Flooding caused by rainfall – for example associated with cyclones 2. Riverine / Inland Flooding – often floodplains 3. Sea Level Rise / Storm Surge - mainly coastal areas

7 Climate change and flood impacts on urban planning Queensland coastline has 35,900 – 56,900 residential buildings located within the shoreline: Horizontal - 3 km Vertical – 6 metres Sea level rise of 1.1 m Residential value of $ $16 billion at risk

8 Resilience to climate change – planning legislation and policy Australian StateLegislationPlanning Policy - Flood Mitigation Coastal Policy - Climate Change impacts (storm surge) VictoriaPlanning and Environment Act 1987 State Planning Policy Framework Coastal Areas Policy (Clause 15: 08-2) Victorian Coastal Strategy 2008 NSWEnvironmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 Coastal Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 State Environmental Planning Policy Draft NSW Coastal Planning Guideline: Adapting to Sea Level Rise QueenslandSustainable Planning Act 2009 State Planning Policy 1/03: Mitigating the Adverse Impacts of Flood, Bushfire and Landslide Draft Queensland Coastal Plan – Draft Guideline Coastal Hazards

9 Flood Mitigation in Urban Planning – the Netherlands Amsterdam is a coastal floodplain regulated by a system of dykes. Maintenance fee added to residents water bill.

10 Flood Mitigation in Urban Planning - Australia Australia’s Regional Flood Mitigation Program (1999) National Disaster Mitigation Program $75 million to 270 projects: - construction of levees - house raising - flood proofing buildings - bypass floodways - flood control dams - retarding basins - channel improvements - flood warning systems - activities to raise community awareness.

11 Emergency Management Governance in Australia

12 The 2008 Floods in Queensland – Historic Case Studies: Mackay and Charleville North Mackay Source: GHD (2009)

13 Study Aims - Hypotheses 1. That those established in areas that are vulnerable to regular flooding, that have greater connections within the community display more resilience in a flood disaster event. 1. To understand how societies that are regularly flooded operate and the characteristics of their resilience or non- resilience. 2. That social groups with special needs such as the elderly are less resilient to a disaster flooding event than other members of a community. 2. To understand the characteristics of communities that are ‘on the edge’, where flooding might push them into non-viability or reduced resilience. 3. That those who had applied flood mitigation measures were more resilient to flood disaster events. 3. To understand the extent to which flood mitigation measures (including State Planning Policy 1/03) have been applied to reduce the vulnerability to flood events. 4. That those who have more adaptive capacity, move from areas that are vulnerable to regular flooding, achieving increased resilience. 4. The characteristics of vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity of households and businesses.

14 Case studies: Charleville & Mackay - Average Annual Rainfall

15 Mackay – a wealthy coastal city Households (%) with a gross weekly income of $2500 or more according to Statistical Division Mackay Charleville

16 Mackay 2008 Flood Disaster Event (flash flood): 15 February 2008 North Mackay catchment Source: RACQ – CQ Rescue - after midday 15 February 2008

17 Hourly Hyetographs - Mackay ALERT station

18 Mackay 2008 Flood Disaster Event (flash flood): 15 February 2008 North Mackay catchment Source: RACQ – CQ Rescue - after midday 15 February 2008

19 History of Charleville floods caused by flooding of the Warrego River Part of Warrego River and Charleville, February2008

20 Charleville Flood Disaster Event (riverine flood): 17 – 20 February 2008 Bradleys Gully floods Charleville (Source: BOM 2009) Charleville Town Map (Source: Murweh Shire Council)

21 Methodology Sample GroupCharlevilleMackayTotal Households Number contact Effective in-scope sample Response rate85%22%31% Businesses Number contacted Effective in-scope sample Response rate87%33%44% Institutions Number contacted Effective in-scope sample Response rate77%32%41%

22 Results

23 Hypothesis 1: 1. That those established in areas that are vulnerable to regular flooding, that have greater connections within the community display more resilience in a flood disaster event.

24 Household hypothesis 1 finding:

25 Social Networks

26 Emergency Management Governance in Australia

27 Hypothesis 2: That social groups with special needs such as the elderly, are more likely to display non-resilience to a disaster flooding event.

28 Vulnerability: the elderly Mackay Charleville Required mass evacuation of nursing homes. Several elderly admitted to hospital for care. One death (an elderly man). Lack of suitable accommodation with the required special facilities for nursing home evacuees. Distance between towns for resident or patient transport created a barrier. Limited radio channels for accessing information to provide care (some needing to rely on School of the Air radio channels).

29 Flood Contact with floodwater: Increased exposure to biological risks (toxins, pathogens, etc.) Disruption of systems: - food supply - health - water/sanitation - Livelihood - Property & assets Drowning Respiratory disease Skin/eye infections Water-borne disease Vector –borne disease(i.e. from mosquitoes) Impacts on mental health Lack of access to treatment Displacement Source: Few (2006) Flood impacts on health

30 Hypothesis 3: That those who had applied flood mitigation measures were more resilient to disaster flooding events.

31 SPP 1/03: Mitigating the adverse impacts of Flood, Bushfire and Landslide Mackay Charleville Mackay City Planning Scheme 2006 contains a ‘Flood & Inundation Management Overlay’ which relates to riverine flooding Storm surge is covered under the Emergency Action Guide But - No provisions for flash flooding Min floor level 300mm above the Defined Flood Event (DFE - 1/100 ARI flood event used) But - Extensions to dwelling houses permitted if there is 1 “Habitable Room” at least 300mm above the above the DFE. The Murweh Shire Council has a flood overlay as part of the Town Plan Industrial area outside flood prone area New commercial premises in flood area required to have an upstairs area or an Evacuation Management Plan Habitable dwellings 300mm above last known flood height (1997 used) But - Unaware that SPP 1/03 is a policy & thought merely a guideline.

32 Glenella, Mackay These 2 houses with raised floors were the only 2 not flooded in the entire street

33 Flood mitigation – raised floor level HouseholdsTown MackayCharleville Yes1%9% No99%91% BusinessesTown MackayCharleville Yes6%18% No94%82%

34 Flood mitigation - insurance Household Insurance Town MackayCharleville Yes68%32% No32%68% Business Insurance Town MackayCharleville Yes63%43% No37%57%

35 Flood mitigation – maintained drains and ditches HouseholdsTown MackayCharleville Yes72%74% No28%26% BusinessesTown MackayCharleville Yes37%92% No63%8%

36 Flood mitigation – avoided irreplaceable items on ground floor HouseholdsTown MackayCharleville Yes44%52% No56%48% BusinessesTown MackayCharleville Yes20%85% No80%15%

37 Hypothesis 4: That those who have more adaptive capacity, move from areas that are vulnerable to regular flooding, achieving increased resilience.

38 Plenty of ‘For Sale’ signs visible North Mackay Glenella

39 Relocation within the town HouseholdsTown MackayCharleville Not at all43%46% Not much9%11% Neutral25%11% Quite a lot5%22% A great deal17%9% BusinessesTown MackayCharleville Not at all55%91% Not much10%9% Neutral14% 0% Quite a lot19% 0% A great deal2%0%

40 Migration to another town HouseholdsTown MackayCharleville Not at all55%63% Not much15% Neutral16%9% Quite a lot4%6% A great deal11%7% BusinessesTown MackayCharleville Not at all85%82% Not much7% 0% Neutral7% 0% Quite a lot 0% 9% A great deal0%9%

41 Summary 1. Charleville was found to be a more resilient community than Mackay with more residents able to return home sooner. 2. Mental vulnerability was found to be a largely unresolved issue resulting from the disaster event in both case studies. 3. Flood mitigation measures such as raising the floor resulted in greater levels of resilience. Insurance coverage prior to the flood was also found to play a critical role in the adaptive capacity to flood disasters. 4. Relocation and migration were options considered by some residents in both towns as a means of adaptive capacity but relocation was not at all considered by businesses in Charleville and migration was not at all considered by businesses in Mackay.

42 Current state of vulnerability, resilience, adaptive capacity Charleville Mackay Bradley’s Gulley flooded again in March 2010 and floodwaters (4.2m) were higher than in the 2008 floods (3.1m). Ongoing mental health impacts and the Department of Community Safety has reported that the community is not coping at all. $3 million sought from the Federal government to build an estate outside of the town’s flood zone. Murweh Shire Council requesting a retarding basin or wall constructed. There was ongoing evidence of reconstruction in flood affected areas in February There are ongoing mental health impacts as a result of the floods. Residents are relocating as a result of the psychological impacts of the flood. There were flood alerts associated with Cyclone Ului in March Both towns flooded during the recent Queensland disaster floods.

43 Recommendations Facilitate community involvement in volunteer organisations to build social capital. Special Needs Registers to identify vulnerable community members. Incorporate SPP 1/03 into local government planning schemes. Ensure that flood damaged houses are reconstructed to comply with the SPP 1/03. Have Emergency Management Plans that can be implemented by anyone available if key staff are not able to be present.

44 Applications of Research Contributing to building more resilient cities to cope with natural hazards and climate change. This research is an introduction into resilience and adaptive capacity. Rather than looking from a vulnerability perspective of resilience, further detailed research is required on what makes a resilient community from both social and planning perspectives.

45 Acknowledgements All the householders, businesses and personnel from institutions in Mackay and Charleville who were so generous with their time and provided us with valuable insights and information on the 2008 floods. Ernest Dunwoody and David Liddell for data collection Charleville. Daniel Girling for the processing of data, tables and graphs for the Mackay and combined data. NCCARF for funding this work.

46 Key References Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2006, Census of Population and Housing [Online]. Canberra. [Accessed]. Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), 2010, Regional Flood Mitigation Program, >, accessed 20 June Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), 2008, Report on Queensland Floods: February 2008, BOM, Queensland. Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), 2009, available: [Accessed 6 March 2010]. Department of Climate Change (DOCC), 2009, Climate Change Risk to Australia’s Coasts: A FIRST PASS NATIONAL ASSESSMENT, Australian Government, Canberra. Few, R., 2006, "Flood Hazards, Vulnerability and Risk Reduction", in Matthies, F. and Few, R. (ed.) Flood Hazards & Health: Responding to Present and Future Risks, Earthscan, London, London, UK. GHD, 2009, Goosepond and Vines Creek Flood Study: Final Report, Mackay Regional Council, Mackay. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), 2005, Hyogo Framework for Action : Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. World Conference on Disaster Reduction. Kobe, Hyogo, Japan: United Nations. IPCC Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. In: M.L. Parry; O.F. Canziani; J.P. Palutikof; P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson, E., Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment, (ed.) Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Nelson, D. R., Adger, W.N. and Brown, K., 2007, "Adaptation to Environmental Change: Contributions of a Resilience Framework", Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 32,

47 Questions/Comments Centre for Disaster Studies, James Cook University Website - The 2008 Floods in Queensland study: Melanie Thomas Telephone : Assoc. Prof. David King, Director of the Centre for Disaster Studies Telephone : +61 (07)


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