Hurricanes Torrential Rains And Floods

The consequences of hurricanes and floods on population displacement are among the easiest to identify in that they manifest themselves in a brutal and direct manner. While the number of persons affected by flooding worldwide (106 million yearly between 2000 and 2005 according to the International Disaster Database) and by hurricanes (38 million) is known, the total number of people threatened by an eventual increase of this kind of disaster is, however, very difficult to estimate. No climate model is able to predict with accuracy whether or not the affected zones will be densely populated and whether the damage wrought will have tragic consequences.

Apart from this difficulty of forecasting, the studies carried out after such events tend to relativize their effects in terms of migration in general, and long-term migration in particular. Living mainly in poor countries, the victims have little mobility, and the majority of the displaced return as soon as possible to reconstruct their homes in the disaster zone. The results from numerous researches conducted worldwide on the subject tend to confirm this point with remarkable regularity. On a global level, the general conclusion therefore is that the potential of hurricanes and torrential rains to provoke long-term and long-distance migrations remains limited.

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