A Large Scale Urban Flood Disaster in Algiers (Algeria): November 10th, 2001 (PAP014344)
Djillali BENOUAR, Hamoud Zelloum, Fouad El Hadj
This paper attempts to present the impact of the unexpected floods and debris flow that occurred within the city center of Algiers (capital of Algeria) on November 10, 2001. According to the official reports, this event caused the loss of 712 human lives, injured 350 people and 116 missing. 1800 housing units were damaged, 56 schools, several bridges, roads and public works suffered considerable damage. The streets of the area affected were affected the debris flow and accumulated more than 1000 000 m3 of mud and debris. More than 350 cars were also damaged and several of them and also buses were buried under the debris flow and mud with passengers. Unfortunately, there is a great deficit in ongoing research on how science is used to facilitate social and political decision-making in the context of risk particularly for unexpected disasters. This event has been analyzed in all its facets to learn all from all the deficiencies that contributed to cause the disaster. Naturally, this requires an integrated approach of research and policy-making for all hazards and disciplines. The analysis of this event has allowed us to make first an inventory of the vulnerability factors, as the existence of the catchments, the high density of inhabitants, open spaces, soil cover, topography, the physical vulnerability of buildings, roads and bridges, the vulnerability of public buildings, etc., of the site and environment that contributed to cause the human and economic losses. This analysis has allowed according to the available data to integrate it into the urban design phase or reconstruction phase in the standards and regulations to reduce the risks. For existing and constructed sites, the risk reduction consists in making new decisions to reduce the vulnerability of the environment and enhance the resilience of the population. Recommendations are made for disaster risk reduction for the site affected of Algiers in terms of reducing the vulnerabilities, and reducing risk and curbing human lives and economic losses through sound knowledge-based measures.