Transport infrastructure is exposed to natural hazards all around the world. Here we present the first global estimates of multi-hazard exposure and risk to road and rail infrastructure. Results reveal that ~27% of all global road and railway assets are exposed to at least one hazard and ~7.5% of all assets are exposed to a 1/100 year flood event. Global Expected Annual Damages (EAD) due to direct damage to road and railway assets range from 3.1 to 22 billion US dollars, of which ~73% is caused by surface and river flooding. Global EAD are small relative to global GDP (~0.02%). However, in some countries EAD reach 0.5 to 1% of GDP annually, which is the same order of magnitude as national transport infrastructure budgets. A cost-benefit analysis suggests that increasing flood protection would have positive returns on ~60% of roads exposed to a 1/100 year flood event.
A global multi-hazard risk analysis of road and railway infrastructure assets
Koks, E.E., Rozenberg, J., Zorn, C., Tariverdi, M., Vousdoukas, M., Fraser, S.A., Hall, J.W., Hallegatte, S. (2019). A global multi-hazard risk analysis of road and railway infrastructure assets. Nature communications, 10(1), pp.1-11. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10442-3.