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Water 2013, 5(4), 1780-1796; doi:10.3390/w5041780

Impact of Damaging Geo-Hydrological Events and Population Development in Calabria, Southern Italy

1,* , 1
Received: 16 September 2013 / Revised: 25 October 2013 / Accepted: 1 November 2013 / Published: 13 November 2013
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Damaging geo-Hydrogeological Events (DHEs) are defined as the occurrence of destructive phenomena (such as landslides and floods) that can cause damage to people and goods during periods of bad weather. These phenomena should be analyzed together as they actually occur because their interactions can both amplify the damage and obstruct emergency management. The occurrence of DHEs depends on the interactions between climatic and geomorphological features: except for long-term climatic changes, these interactions can be considered constant, and for this reason, some areas are systematically affected. However, damage scenarios can change; events that occurred in the past could presently cause different effects depending on the modifications that occurred in the geographical distribution of vulnerable elements. We analyzed a catastrophic DHE that in 1951 affected an area 3700 km2 wide, located in Calabria (southern Italy), with four-day cumulative rainfall exceeding 300 mm and return periods of daily rain exceeding 500 Y. It resulted in 101 victims and 4500 homeless individuals. The probability that a similar event will happen again in the future is assessed using the return period of the triggering rainfall, whereas the different anthropogenic factors are taken into account by means of the population densities at the time of the event and currently. The result is a classification of regional municipalities according to the probability that events such as the one analyzed will occur again in the future and the possible effects of this event on the current situation.
Keywords: Damaging geo-Hydrogeological Events; landslides; floods; Italy Damaging geo-Hydrogeological Events; landslides; floods; Italy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Petrucci, O.; Pasqua, A.A.; Polemio, M. Impact of Damaging Geo-Hydrological Events and Population Development in Calabria, Southern Italy. Water 2013, 5, 1780-1796.

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