Economic damage caused by major floods worldwide up to 2016

The statistic ranks major floods by economic damage caused in the period from 1900 to 2016*. A flood in China in 1998 caused damage estimated to be worth 30 billion U.S. dollars.

Economic damage caused by significant floods worldwide

The Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters released data on the economic damage caused by significant floods worldwide as of July 2014. According to this data, the flood of August 5, 2011 in Thailand was by far the most economically damaging flood between 1900 and 2013, causing roughly 40 billion U.S. dollars of damage.

Thailand’s floods of August 2011 reportedly killed 42 people and occurred in the north and north-eastern areas of the country. Heavy seasonal rain and tropical storm Nock Ten were to blame for the flooding. Nock Ten, which formed on July 24, first made landfall in the Philippines, where it killed 75 people. It also made landfall in China, Vietnam and Laos, where more damage was done and more people died. An estimated 1.5 million people were affected in Thailand as water flowed downstream in the Yom River and Nan River to provinces in the Central Plains area. Thailand is one of the top 20 most populated countries, with roughly 68 million inhabitants. Due to flooding, roughly 650,000 individuals were evacuated from low-lying areas in Thailand and 6,200 acres of rice and other crop fields were submerged by flowing water.

Of other countries heavily affected by flood damage, China also ranks highly. China has a total population of 1.4 billion individuals as of 2013. In 1998, over 238 million people were affected by major flood disasters in China. In 1991 in China, over 210 million people were affected by major flooding. In one historic event in 1931, over 3.7 million people died due to flooding in China.

Economic damage caused by significant floods worldwide from 1900 to 2016*

FloodsEconomic damage in billion U.S. dollars
Thailand,
(Aug 5, 2011)
40
China,
(July 1, 1998)
30
China,
(May 29, 2010)
18
India,
(September, 2014)
16
Korea Dem P Rep,
(August 1, 1995)
15
Germany,
(May 28, 2013)
12.9
China,
(June 30, 1996)
12.6
U.S.,
(August 9, 2016)
12.5
U.S.,
(June 24, 1993)
12
Germany,
(August 11, 2002)
11.6
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Source

Release date

November 2016

Region

Worldwide

Survey time period

1900 to 2016

Supplementary notes

* Figures are as of November 17, 2016.

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