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March 11, 2015
The economic output at risk of flooding in India, the world’s second most populous nation, may surge 10-fold by 2030 as cities expand and climate challenges worsen, according to the US-based World Resources Institute.
A new online global flood-analyzing tool developed by WRI and four Dutch research agencies estimates that India’s current GDP exposed annually could increase 10-fold from US$14 billion to US$154 billion by 2030, reported Bloomberg. India also faces more potential change in exposed GDP than any country. China is next at US$98 billion. India tops the list of 163 countries studied that have populations affected by river flooding. The other four countries in the top five are also in Asia; namely, Bangladesh in second place, then China, followed by Vietnam, Pakistan and Indonesia, the tool showed. .
The cost and loss from floods played out last September when India deployed 300,000 military personnel in the Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir to rescue 130,000 people after a week of rain caused riverbanks to burst, killing about 500 in India and Pakistan. In 2013, the worst flash floods in 90 years killed 580 and left 5,000 more missing in the northern states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. .
River flooding currently impacts 21 million people worldwide on average and costs US$96 billion in GDP each year, according to the analysis. In 15 years, those numbers may grow to 54 million people and US$521 billion in GDP affected annually.