Families take boats to flooded villages, Mehran Town, Dadu District, Sindh, Pakistan / Photo: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam

Remote sensing and GIS for flood hazard management

This paper describes the application of remote sensing (RS) and geographical information systems (GIS) in identifying flood hazard zones and flood shelters Sindh Province, Pakistan, and is therefore an important tool for planners and decision makers.

Case Study

Application of remote sensing and GIS for flood hazard management: a case study from Sindh Province, Pakistan

HFA Priority

Methodology to accurately delineate flood inundated areas, flood-hazard areas, and suitable areas for flood shelter to minimize flood impacts.

Abstract

This paper describes the application of remote sensing (RS) and geographical information systems (GIS) in identifying flood hazard zones and flood shelters and it is therefore an important tool for planners and decision makers.

This article outlines a simple and efficient methodology to accurately delineate flood inundated, flood-hazard, and suitable flood shelter areas to minimize flood impacts. Flooding scenarios and suitable flood shelter sites were modeled and mapped for Sindh Province in Pakistan. This method is robust enough to zone flood hazards and map shelter sites for flood management.

Context

In Pakistan, floods have been recognized as a major natural hazard. The country has a long history of floods from the Indus River and its tributaries and the floods of 1928, 1929, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1973, 1976, 1988, 1992, 1995, 1996 1997 and 2010 attest to their destructive nature and adverse impact on lives and property in Pakistan.

Location

Sindh Province, Pakistan

How was the problem addressed?

Mapping of Pakistan 2010 floods, flood hazard assessment and proposed flood shelters.

NASA-SERVIR Himalaya team was involved in the flood monitoring.

Use of available cloud free data during the floods: MODIS data gave alternative images.

Similar techniques can be replicated in other parts of Pakistan.

GIS based proposed locations for building flood shelter was the first such initiative in Pakistan.    

Results

The 2010 flood in Sindh province, Pakistan was described as the worst environmental disaster in Pakistan’s history. The flood inundated a total area of 7,579 km2 in Sindh province:

·       838 km2 in Naushahro Feroze district;

·       965 km2 in Shikarpur district;

·       788 km2 in Sukkur district;

·       667 km2 in Khairpur district;

·       306 km2 in Ghotki district;

·       3,002 km2 in Jacobabad district;

·       1,013 km2 in Larkana district.

The modeled result indicated a very high hazard area (6,216 km2) out of a total area of 46,138 km2 in Sindh province.

Measuring success

The published results are now hosted in many libraries including the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

http://library.wmo.int/opac/index.php?lvl=more_results&get_last_query=1#.U9DJmvmSwaU 

The results were validated using the Pakistan flood 2010 data. Some 1,363 km2 were observed to be less flood prone and this can be attributed to human interventions, particularly infrastructure to regularly re-route water build-up from floods

Relevance to HFA

The analyzed product uploaded on the website of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and shared with the relevant authorities. Published writers are now citing the findings.

Potential for Replication

Flood inundation mapping and the GIS based analysis for flood shelter suitability can be replicated anywhere in the word.  

Contribution by

Mr. Kabir Uddin / Mr. Deo Raj Gurung / Mr. Amarnath Giriraj / Mr. Basanta Shrestha

Geospatial Solutions

International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development

GPO Box 3226, Kathmandu, Nepal

Tel +97715003222 Ext 102 Fax +97715003277 Web www.icimod.org / http://geoportal.icimod.org/

Email: kabir.uddin@icimod.org   kabir.uddin.bd@gmail.com