Two Chinese cities have earned slots on The Guardian’s Top 10 riskiest cities for potential natural disasters, with Shanghai sliding in at #8 and the Pearl River Delta at #3. If it makes you feel better (and it shouldn’t) the two Chinese cities are outnumbered by three hurricane-and-tsunami prone Japanese cities.
Shanghai, unfortunately enough, happens to be built atop a flood plane. It’s been quite a while since the city had severe flooding, but as the occasionally heavy rainstorm can attest, this is far from a dry city. Please remember September’s epic rainstorm that briefly interrupted subway service and caused the city government to sent out a red alert. The city could potentially face a river-delta flood, and we should hope that our Huangpu not overfloweth.
All things considered, Shanghai seems to be quite a bit better off than the Pearl River Delta. The PRD area (that is, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Macau and Guangzhou) is also at high risk for floods and is the “Number one [riskiest] metropolitan area for storm surge[s]” as last year’s typhoons can attest. If even that isn’t enough, the PRD area is also the third-riskiest area for “cyclonic wind damage,” which sounds absolutely terrifying.
The Guardian’s ranking methodology seems to be based off the Swiss Re insurance company’s evaluation of several hundred global cities, which estimated both natural disaster risk and potential financial impact of a disaster on those cities. Other cities on the list included Tehran, Los Angeles, Kolkata, Nagoya, Jakarta, Osaka, Manila, and Tokyo.