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AIR launches inland flood model for Japan

24th October 2017 - Author: Luke Gallin

Global catastrophe risk modeller, AIR Worldwide, has launched a new inland flood model for Japan and enhanced the Japan typhoon model, providing a more comprehensive view of the country’s flood risk.

Japan floodingThe models are available through Version 5.1 of AIR’s catastrophe risk modelling software, Touchstone, and CATRADER Version 19.1 catastrophe risk management system.

The new, inland flood model for Japan explicitly simulates the effects of both on and off-plain inland flooding from perils other than tropical cyclones. AIR states that 40% of flood losses in Japan are a result of inland flooding from non-tropical systems.

AIR explains that the new probabilistic model incorporates the complexities of flood risk in a 377,000+ square kilometers area, that’s divided into more than 20,000 unit catchments for a river network that surpasses 100,000 kilometers in length, and also includes flood defence systems that are in place.

To calibrate and validate the new inland flood model, observational data was used based on river flows at almost 1,000 locations, alongside lake and dam storage from over 2,000 locations.

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Dr. Jayanta Guin, Chief Research Officer, AIR, said; “Until now, the industry has lacked the tools to effectively quantify inland flood risk in Japan. We’re excited to add Japan to our growing portfolio of high-resolution flood models. The model represents another step forward in helping the industry manage this complex risk by better understanding the severity, frequency, and loss potential of extreme flood events in Japan.”

The model considers river shape, dams, levees, and other structures when computing discharge at each location along the extensive river network, and lake and dam storage and soil saturation are also accounted for, explains AIR.

The inland flood model can also be used with AIR’s Japan typhoon model, which has been updated to include a new typhoon-induced precipitation module, which also captures the risk from wind and storm surge.

The new models are available through Touchstone 5.1, which AIR says features significant enhancements to the geospatial module. Other updates to Touchstone 5.1 include improved architecture, which has reduced analysis run times. While the user interface has been enhanced to streamline the setup of geospatial analysis, while enabling additional map visualisation.

Furthermore, the updated Touchstone 5.1 includes new mapping tools that provide more robust GIS functionality, while supporting a broader range of data formats from more external sources, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Rob Newbold, Executive Vice President (EVP), AIR, commented; “Touchstone is fast becoming the industry’s preferred catastrophe modeling application, and now, on our fifth full release, we’re excited to bring new enhancements to the usability and functionality of the software. These latest updates will continue to simplify companies’ risk management workflows while also helping them develop their own view of risk in one easy-to-use, comprehensive risk management platform.”

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