Socio-economic impacts: exposure, vulnerability, prospectives, and adaptation


The analysis of societal impacts of natural hazards has an increasing interest day by day and many national and international projects have created specific working groups to cope with them. Accurate data are needed on economic, human and social impacts of extreme weather events to assess the cost and the efficiency of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) policies. The different expertise of scientists involved makes such a topic a very example of multidisciplinary approach. Observing and assessing the societal impact constitute major tools for improving DRR, including climate change adaptation and community’s resilience to storm risks in the framework of sustainable development. The objective of this session is to provide a multidisciplinary forum for presentations and discussions of our current state of knowledge about the socio-economic impacts of Mediterranean Storms and their evolution in a context of global change, with special incidence in adaptation constraints and tipping points. Many studies are developed to assess the vulnerability and exposure of societies facing hydrometeorological hazards, especially through the back analysis and the modelling of damage. The last issue deals with the assessment of risk management and different responses developed from different societies and cultural backgrounds, including the ways the citizens react in front of failures of the authority in charge of their protection. The session also addresses how we communicate and educate population, policy makers and relevant stakeholders about natural hazards and disaster risk reduction through medias and social networks. Furthermore, the session intends to address innovative means and mechanisms developed to achieve effective participation of the citizens in the different phases of the risk prevention and management. This session aims to be a meeting point between experts on these matters from universities, civil protection, mass media and so on.

Conveners: Maria-Carmen Llasat, Pinhas Alpert
| Thu, 20 Oct, 10:00–11:00|Sala degli Svizzeri, Fri, 21 Oct, 14:45–16:30|Sala degli Svizzeri

Orals: Thu, 20 Oct | Sala degli Svizzeri

Chairperson: Pinhas Alpert
Maria Carmen Llasat, Montserrat Llasat-Botija, Raul Marcos, Laura Esbrí, Sandra Racionero, Tomeu Rigo, Joan Gilabert, and Jordi Corbera

Barcelona constitutes a good example of a Mediterranean coastal megacity that can be severely affected by climate change impacts. The urban heat island effect, which is particularly important in Barcelona could magnify direct impacts on health produced by the frequency and intensity increase in heat waves and tropical nights. If we consider the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) where 52.8% of its surface area is urban, is possible to see maximum temperatures higher than 35 °C in the city center, with minimum nighttime temperatures above 23°C, while coastal peri-urban areas register 4°C less than in the city. Besides this, in a warmer climate, the risk of floods might also increase. Floods are relatively frequent in the AMB with more than 3 pluvial flood episodes per year and over 7 Million €2015 paid for flood damages between 1996 and 2014 by the national insurance company “Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros”.

Nevertheless, the impacts of these events across the city are heterogeneous and highly dependent on its urban planning, socioeconomic distribution, topography, and the characteristics of the meteorological systems affecting it. As a result, Barcelona resilience has a strong dependence on local factors that must be accounted for in the design of any management plan or adaptation strategy that must be adopted by the municipality, its citizens or socioeconomic actors. In this context of hydrometeorological risks that are going to worsen over time, and with the goal of improving resilience in a sustainable way, the Barcelona Living Lab on Extreme Events (Barcelona LLEE) was born under the auspices of the I-Change (Individual Change of HAbits Needed for Green European transition) project and in collaboration with the C3-RiskMed project.

This communication begins with the knowledge about intense rains, floods, and extreme temperatures in AMB, continues with the strategy that will govern the Living Lab, and ends with the methodological proposal that will govern the experiment. The first part is based in the application of the Local Climate Zones to do a classification of the different land covers and land uses of AMB and obtaining the spatial distribution of temperature at high resolution in present and future scenarios as well as its impact in the risk mortality (Gilabert et al., 2021).  On the other hand, flood events have a heterogeneous effect across the city due to differences in the urban planning, its topography, the distinct socioeconomic distribution, and the intrinsic characteristics of these precipitation systems that have been analysed through the meteorological radar and considering information provided by the company responsible of the drainage system (Esbrí et al., 2021). The second part shows the seven points of the strategy that governs the Barcelona LLEE and pretends to engage citizens and stakeholders in the project for Green European transition.  Finally, the methodology includes the use of the App FLOODUP in the framework of citizen science.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 101037193, and the “Ministerio de Ciencia e Información” (project PID2020-113638RB-C22).

How to cite: Llasat, M. C., Llasat-Botija, M., Marcos, R., Esbrí, L., Racionero, S., Rigo, T., Gilabert, J., and Corbera, J.: From scientific knowledge to individual change of habits: the Barcelona Living Lab on extreme events, 17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks, Frascati, Rome, Italy, 18–21 Oct 2022, Plinius17-13,, 2022.

Katerina Papagiannaki, Vassiliki Kotroni, Kostas Lagouvardos, Antonis Bezes, Vasileios Vafeiadis, Ioanna Messini, Efstathios Kroustallis, and Ioannis Totos

Flood-producing rainfall events often lead to material damage to buildings, vehicles, and infrastructure with a significant cumulative economic impact. Especially in urban areas, vulnerability to floods may vary at the local level, and so are the rainfall amounts likely to trigger flood damages. Insurance claims for flood damages can accurately indicate when and where these occurred. In the frame of the YANTAS project (project code:T2EDK-01108), a detailed insurance claims dataset of one of Greece's most important private insurance companies was used, combined with the dense surface weather station data provided by the METEO unit of the National Observatory of Athens. The aim was to model flood damage occurrence and identify the triggering rainfall thresholds at the local level across the Athens Metropolitan Area. Namely, we used eight-year rainfall observations from 66 meteorological stations and insurance claims on the postal code segmentation for the analysis. Logistic regression was applied to statistically model flood damage occurrence. We further applied the ROC curves to assess the performance of the binary response models and define optimal 24-h rainfall thresholds. The method is performed at the municipal level, as municipalities are the first administration level where decision-making to address the local risks for the citizens is needed. The rainfall thresholds were further classified to estimate and map the local risk of flood damages. The applicability of the detected thresholds in early-warning systems is also discussed.

How to cite: Papagiannaki, K., Kotroni, V., Lagouvardos, K., Bezes, A., Vafeiadis, V., Messini, I., Kroustallis, E., and Totos, I.: Examining flood damage occurrence at the local level as a function of rainfall, based on insurance claims across an urban Mediterranean region, 17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks, Frascati, Rome, Italy, 18–21 Oct 2022, Plinius17-8,, 2022.

Pinhas Alpert, Yoav Rubin, and Yitzhaq Yosef

Jerusalem City is unique in its diversity of populations with a total of 936,000 inhabitants (end of 2018) with 62% Jewish and 38% Arabs,
and is located exactly at the border of Mediterranean climate with a significant variability between the coastal area, including Jerusalem City (annual rainfall ~600 mm) and the most arid zone of the Dead Sea, 20-30 km east of the city (annual rainfall ~50 mm). The spatial-temporal variation of rainfall
intensity is the main and not well-known driver that generates the majority of flash floods in the nearby Judean Desert. Hence, its monitoring is crucial in this area as in other remote arid areas worldwide.

Recently, extensive research was performed related to global warming potential risks and their effects on rainfall and temperature over the East Mediterranean. Several major risks were pointed out including extreme temperatures, heat waves, colder nights and heavy rainfall. Important to notice is our first super-high-resolution global climate model projections that the ancient “Fertile Crescent” in the Middle East (considered as the cradle of civilization), will nearly disappear during this century by the year 2100 (Kitoh et al. 2008).

Jerusalem temperatures both maximum and minimum show that significant increases occurred during 1950-2020 (based on homogenized dataset, Yosef et al., 2019). Furthermore, enhanced increases are shown to have occurred from the 1980s of the temperature trends which are even more than double of the global average ones. A fact that led to definition of the Mediterranean as a “Hot Spot” of global warming. Comparison of Jerusalem temperatures increasing trends to the coastal upstream Bet Dagan station, at ~40 km to the west does show similar patterns of statistically most significant increases in the region as well as large inter-annual variabilities.

A general reduction in the annual amount was observed in the last four decades over Jerusalem. This tendency is expected to continue and become more pronounced under the "business as usual" scenario of RCP8.5. Some potential socioeconomic impacts will be presented.

How to cite: Alpert, P., Rubin, Y., and Yosef, Y.: Challenges related to Climate Change and Identification of Risks and Impacts  in Jerusalem, 17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks, Frascati, Rome, Italy, 18–21 Oct 2022, Plinius17-97,, 2022.

Chiara Arrighi and Fabio Castelli

Models for the assessment of direct flood impacts are widely applied, while models for indirect impacts and cascading effects are still in a theoretic and demonstration phase. The division of damage into direct and indirect is commonplace, but interpretations and delineations of what is considered a direct and indirect impact differ. Direct damages are usually associated with the physical contact with flood water, thus almost instantaneous, and generally estimated by stage-damage functions. All the consequences beyond the physical damage are considered indirect impacts and include effects occurring outside the inundated area in space and time. This work presents two modelling frameworks capable of describing the space and time dimensions of indirect flood impacts. The first model simulates the water supply system (WSS) of a metropolitan area and the effect of the service disruption for users in case of floods. The second model simulates the recovery after a flood and it is specifically tailored for describing resilience of art cities, where cultural heritage makes the difference in socio-economic impacts. Both models are applied to the metropolitan area of Firenze (Italy) as a proof of concept. The results show how significant space and time extents of indirect impacts are, when compared to direct ones and this drive the need for a better understanding of system perspectives in flood risk management.

How to cite: Arrighi, C. and Castelli, F.: Exploring space and time dimensions of indirect impacts of floods, 17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks, Frascati, Rome, Italy, 18–21 Oct 2022, Plinius17-77,, 2022.

Orals: Fri, 21 Oct | Sala degli Svizzeri

Chairperson: Maria-Carmen Llasat
Paola Salvati, Mauro Rossi, Cinzia Bianchi, Mina Yazdani, and Fausto Guzzetti

Floods are a common type of hazard that globally cause significant economic and societal damage. According to the European Environment Agency (2020) Europe has experienced a large number of catastrophic floods in recent decades, with numerous lives lost. In Italy, a country for which detailed information on the number of flood fatalities is available, in the last decade 2011-2020, 150 deaths, 7 missing people and 68 injured persons were recorded. These figures indicate the severity of the risk posed by flood to people in Italy.  The risk posed by a hazard on the population is assessed using the societal risk, and is typically sized constructing frequency-consequences curves that relate the frequency of the fatal events to the magnitude of the consequences. The latter is measured by the number of the fatalities (the sum of deaths and missing people). Using the historical catalogue of flood fatalities available for Italy, here we propose an approach, tested for all the Italian country and previously used for other natural hazards, such as landslides and earthquakes, to evaluate the spatial and the temporal distribution of societal flood risk from historical point information. The historical catalogue was divided in different time subsets, respectively used to calibrate and validate the model results. The empirical distributions of the frequency of fatal flood events was modelled adopting the Zipf distribution, defined for a population of finite size. The model variables, can be defined as: (i) the largest number of flood fatalities F, (ii) the number of fatal flood events E, and (iii) the scaling exponent of the Zipf distribution s, which controls the relative proportion of low vs. large magnitude floods. To obtain a homogeneous risk assessment across the Italian territory we partitioned the entire Italian territory in a regular square grid and for each grid cell, we selected from the record of historical fatal floods all the events within a circular kernel of variable radius r, (in km). For each sub-set, selected inside the kernel, the Probability Mass Function (PMF) was computed to estimate the value of the Zipf distribution s parameter. Therefore, for each grid cell, the three model variables (F, E, s) are calculated, producing maps to visualize the model results which revealed the complexity of flood risk in Italy for the exposed population.

Despite the difficulty in modelling sparse datasets, the approach provided a coherent representation of societal flood risk in Italy.  We therefore expect the approach to be used to model societal flood risk in other geographical areas for which adequate information on flood events and their fatal consequences is available.

How to cite: Salvati, P., Rossi, M., Bianchi, C., Yazdani, M., and Guzzetti, F.: Flood risk to society in Italy: a national scale approach, 17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks, Frascati, Rome, Italy, 18–21 Oct 2022, Plinius17-30,, 2022.

Olga Petrucci and the FFEM-DB Team

In spite of substantial improvements in managing flood risk and a large number of governmental initiatives on a different scale, floods still represent a threat to human life. The July 2021 catastrophic flood that affected Germany and neighboring countries, killing more than 200 people, witnesses that citizens can be massively killed by floods in developed countries attentive to flood risk management. Beyond the local factors leading to each death, specific circumstances and individual behaviors are shown to be comparable among different flood fatalities. The collection of these data allows researchers and flood risk managers to explore demographic, behavioral, and situational factors and environmental features of flood-related mortality to promote Disaster Risk Reduction. To answer the lack of standardized data collection on flood fatalities on the European scale, we created FFEM-DB, the multinational Database of Flood Fatalities from the Euro-Mediterranean region. Currently, FFFEM-DB hosts 2,875 flood fatalities from 12 territories (nine of which represent entire countries) in Europe and the broader Mediterranean region from 1980 to 2020 and provides data on fatalities’ profiles, location, and circumstances contributing to the fatal accident. The FFEM-DB is expandable, regularly updated, publicly available, and with anonymized data. Compared to existing disaster datasets containing spare data on flood fatalities, the key advantages are FFEM-DB's high level of detail, data accuracy, record completeness, and the large sample size from an extended area. The present contribution proposes future developments of the FFEM-DB in terms of a) the spatial expansion, covering more regions; b) data sharing by means of a dedicated webgis platform, planned to both support actions of civil protection agencies and promote data diffusion among citizens to raise risk awareness. 

How to cite: Petrucci, O. and the FFEM-DB Team: FFEM-DB: the multinational Database of Flood Fatalities from the Euro-Mediterranean region. Planning a public webgis platform to promote risk awareness and support risk reduction strategies, 17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks, Frascati, Rome, Italy, 18–21 Oct 2022, Plinius17-11,, 2022.

Antonio Parodi, Silvana Di Sabatino, Francesca Munerol, Erika Brattich, Pinhas Alpert, Paolo Mazzetti, Francesco Pilla, Maria Carmen Llasat, Gert-Jan Steeneveld, Muhammad Adnan, Fredrik Wetterhall, Katriina Soini, Eskil Welan, Katja Firus, Milan Kalas, Carlo Trozzi, Ephraim Broschkowski, and Seyni Salack

Climate change phenomena represent the most serious threats to human well-being and sustainable development. This affects several dimensions of human life from individual health issues to economic growth, passing through civil protection, with strong impacts on European territories and in several other world regions. The I-CHANGE (Individual Change of HAbits Needed for Green European transition, 2021-2025) project faces the challenge of engaging and promoting the active participation of citizens for addressing climate change, sustainable development and environmental protection in the framework of the European Green Deal , the European Climate Pact and the European Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. The overall driving concept is that citizens and civil society have a central role in the definition of environmental protection and climate action and their direct involvement is essential to drive a true shift and promotion of changes of behaviors towards more sustainable patterns. I-CHANGE represents a change of paradigm achievable through a multi-disciplinary and participatory approach: improvement of data usability - citizen awareness raises through the observation of the environmental impacts of human activities; active participation of citizens - the active involvement of citizens through a set of Living Labs (LLs) located in different socio-economic contexts (Europe, Middle-East and Africa); climate change awareness - the development of clear understanding for citizens of the scientific processes underlying climate change and environmental protections. First year of I-CHANGE activities will be presented and discussed.

How to cite: Parodi, A., Di Sabatino, S., Munerol, F., Brattich, E., Alpert, P., Mazzetti, P., Pilla, F., Llasat, M. C., Steeneveld, G.-J., Adnan, M., Wetterhall, F., Soini, K., Welan, E., Firus, K., Kalas, M., Trozzi, C., Broschkowski, E., and Salack, S.: I-CHANGE (Individual Change of HAbits Needed for Green European transition) project, 17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks, Frascati, Rome, Italy, 18–21 Oct 2022, Plinius17-21,, 2022.

Samuele Segoni, Stefano Clò, and Francesco David

Landslides and floods are responsible for causalties and economic losses worlwide and Italy is one of the most affected countries. However, despite the relevant damages, little is known on the indirect effects that such hazards exert on the local and national economy.  

In this nation-wide study, the indirect effects od hydro-geological phenomena on Italian firms are assessed by coupling variables concerning Italian firms' competitiviness with a dataset of flood and landslide events. Econometic indicators were defined starting from data provided by organizations such as INPS, ISTAT, CERVED, Tax Registry and Bank of Italy. A geodatabase providig the timing and location of harmful hydro-geological events was compiled by an automated web datamining procedure based on a semantic algorithm scanning internet news. The datasets covers all italian municiaplites in the timespan ranging from 2010 to 2020.

A statistical analysis highlighted that hydro-geological disasters, even the non-extreme ones, may negatively affect the future development of local economies: firms located in municipalities hit by a relevant event face on average a 4.8% increase in the probability of exiting the market with respect to non-impaired firms. Moreover, surviving firms seem to be slightly affected by natural disasters, in particular on the revenue side (-3.5%) and, to a lesser extent, on employment (-1.7%). Acros Italy, these effects are very eterogeneus, depending on the location and the characteristics of th affected firms. The most evident effects are observed in case of micro and small businesses, for those active in services and those located in rural and suburban areas.

How to cite: Segoni, S., Clò, S., and David, F.: Deciphering the impact of hydro-geological hazards on Italian firms: a nation-wide assessment, 17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks, Frascati, Rome, Italy, 18–21 Oct 2022, Plinius17-22,, 2022.

Elisa Brussolo, Christian Ronchi, Alessio Salandin, Roberto Cremonini, and Secondo Barbero

In the last twenty years, the Italian territory has been affected by different water crises, which have affected the main sectors of water use, exacerbating conflicts in different territories between these sectors (concerning the priority use of the resource), and requiring the implementation of emergency procedures for impacts management. The recent drought events of 2017, 2021, and winter 2022 saw areas of the country not typically prone to this type of phenomenon, such as north-western Italy, go into crisis.
The term “water crisis” identifies the phenomenon for which the water shortage (a condition resulting from a demand for a resource exceeding the natural availability of renewable resources) reaches a severity demanding a series of management procedures for the phenomenon.
Future water security will depend on the magnitude, rate, and regional details of meteo-climatic changes and non-climatic factors such as agricultural practices, water demand, and governance: improving aspects of water management will be a key to winning adaptation measures. Since drought can be defined in several ways, there are potentially different responses under a warming climate depending on the drought type. Beyond a lack of precipitation, changes in evapotranspiration are critical components of drought, because these can lead to soil moisture declines. Under very dry soil conditions, evapotranspiration becomes restricted and plants experience water stress in response to increased atmospheric demand. Human activities and decision-making have a critical impact on drought severity. The discrepancy between water shortage and the unavailability of the water resource to meet water demand is a function of socio-economic vulnerabilities and gaps in water governance.
In this framework, uncertainty in future water scarcity forecasting and projections makes water security risk assessment and adaptation strategies a top priority scientific challenge: a bottom-up approach for forecasting and managing water crises is particularly advantageous.
Considering the Turin area, Italy, after identifying the events that moved the drinking water supply sources towards crisis, meteorological data and appropriate drought indexes have been analyzed. Critical thresholds and parameters have been identified as a function of water supply sources and response time.
A first forecasting chain was tested to provide monthly forecasts to assess the overcoming of these thresholds for operational purposes.

How to cite: Brussolo, E., Ronchi, C., Salandin, A., Cremonini, R., and Barbero, S.: A bottom-up approach to forecast and manage water crises in the Turin area, 17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks, Frascati, Rome, Italy, 18–21 Oct 2022, Plinius17-24,, 2022.

Vulnerability of maize, barley, and wheat yields to growing season temperature and socioeconomic indicators in Morocco
Soumia Achli, Terence Epule Eplule, Driss Dhiba, Abdelghani Chehbouni, Salah Er-Raki, and Wiam Salih
Soheil Mohammadi, Serena Cattari, Francesca Pirlone, Giorgio Boni, and Silvia De Angeli

According to UNDRR terminology, resilience is the ability of a system, community, or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt to, transform, and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, including through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions through risk management. Damages to urban physical structures caused by consequent and/or interacting natural hazards create a complex and challenging post-disaster environment. Many functions provided by the affected structures are disrupted and consequently, systemic processes, including recovery, are impaired and delayed. Despite its criticality, recovery is the less explored phase in the disaster management framework, specifically from a pre-disaster perspective, in terms of planning and actions for better recovery before disasters occur.

This work presents a modeling framework to determine which infrastructures and with what level of functionality in an urban system, after a disaster, can ensure that the system can efficiently go through the path of the recovery process. The final goal is to increase the overall resilience of the urban settlements from multiple hazards. This research question is addressed considering (i) multiple functionalities (e.g. economic, social, health, etc.) of the territorial elements; (ii) the potential interactions and interdependencies among them as well as the overall functionality of the system; (iii) a multi-hazard risk perspective, considering both flood and seismic hazard scenarios; (iv) pathway and goal of the recovery process able to ensure not only the prioritization of recovery interventions but also the improvement of system resilience according to a ‘build back better’ perspective.

First, the main results of a critical review of existing literature and guidelines on disaster recovery are provided with the twofold aim of identifying current gaps and providing the layout to develop a multi-hazard framework for decision-making and investments optimization in pre-disaster recovery planning. As a first step of the framework definition, the essential urban structures that contribute to economic, social, cultural, demographic, environmental, governmental, and community functions, and their interdependencies are identified. Then, the contribution of each structure to the overall functionality of the urban system is determined using quantitative data and qualitative data. Stakeholders’ priorities and needs for going through a good recovery are also integrated into the approach thanks to structured stakeholder-engagement activities based on a participatory approach. The influence of the hazards on the system is evaluated by imposing multi-hazard risk scenarios of floods and earthquakes, considering various levels of interaction between them (hazard, exposure, vulnerability, risk, DRR measures).

The developed modeling framework represents the basis for the implementation of a quantitative tool for decision-makers to find and plan the optimal investment alternatives to increase the system’s resilience under a limited budget.


How to cite: Mohammadi, S., Cattari, S., Pirlone, F., Boni, G., and De Angeli, S.: A combined flood-seismic resilience-based planning framework to improve the recoverability of urban settlements, 17th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Risks, Frascati, Rome, Italy, 18–21 Oct 2022, Plinius17-58,, 2022.