A global multi-hazard risk analysis of road and railway infrastructure assets

E. E. Koks*, J. Rozenberg, C. Zorn, M. Tariverdi, M. Vousdoukas, S. A. Fraser, J. W. Hall, S. Hallegatte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2677
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019


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