The climate is changing… So the way we manage roads needs to change as well

May 15, 2017

 

Few things are more depressing than seeing the damage caused by cyclones on transport infrastructure. Especially when it is a causeway that was only formally opened less than one month before the storm. That is what I found in early 2014 when participating in the Tonga Cyclone Ian Post Disaster Needs Assessment. The cyclone was a typical example of the heavy toll that climate change is taking on transport infrastructure, particulimagearly in the most vulnerable countries.
Engineers are taught that water is the greatest enemy of transport infrastructure, and unfortunately climate change is leading to an increase in floods and storms, especially within the South-East Asia region.

For example, the figure below shows the number of floods and storms for some Asian countries between 2000 and 2008. The significant increase in the number of floods is self-evident.

Number of flood and storm events in select South-East Asian countries in 2000 vs. 2008

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