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Journal Article: BibTeX citation key:  Samimi2012
Samimi, C., Fink, A. H. & Paeth, H. (2012) The 2007 flood in the Sahel: causes, characteristics and its presentation in the media and FEWS NET. IN Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 12. 313–325.
Added by: Andreas Fink 2012-02-14 09:08:05
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Categories: Environment and Climate Monitoring, Monsoon system and its variability, Society-Environment-Climate interactions
Keywords: Adaptation and Mitigation, Early warning system, Hydrology, Precipitation, Rainfall, Satellites
Creators: Fink, Paeth, Samimi
Collection: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences

Peer reviewed
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Abstract
During the rainy season in 2007, reports about
exceptional rains and floodings in the Sahel were published
in the media, especially in August and September. Institutions
and organizations like the World Food Programme
(WFP) and FEWS NET put the events on the agenda and
released alerts and requested help. The partly controversial
picture was that most of the Sahel faced a crisis caused by
widespread floodings. Our study shows that the rainy season
in 2007 was exceptional with regard to rainfall amount and
return periods. In many areas the event had a return period
between 1 and 50 yr with high spatial heterogeneity, with
the exception of the Upper Volta basin, which yielded return
periods of up to 1200 yr. Despite the strong rainfall, the
interpretation of satellite images show that the floods were
mainly confined to lakes and river beds. However, the study
also proves the difficulties in assessing the meteorological
processes and the demarcation of flooded areas in satellite
images without ground truthing. These facts and the somewhat
vague and controversial reports in the media and FEWS
NET demonstrate that it is crucial to thoroughly analyze such
events at a regional and local scale involving the local population.
Added by: Andreas Fink