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Flood hazard map of La Trinidad (NW Nicaragua). Method and results.
Furdada i Bellavista, Glòria; Calderón, L.E.; Marquès i Roca, M. Àngels
Universitat de Barcelona
During the Mitch Hurricane event (October 1998), severe floods occurred in the village of La Trinidad (Departamento de Estelı´, NW Nicaragua), which spreads at the margin of La Trinidad river. As a consequence, the need for hazard assessment and land use planning to reduce the effects of these natural processes arose. Nicaragua is a developing country, which means that there is a scarcity of good quality data on which to base these hazard assessments (i.e., lack of detailed topographic maps, lack of meteorological and discharge data series). Therefore, the main objective of the present work was to generate a flood hazard map of La Trinidad by means of a simple method, with a resulting map easy to understand and to use by the municipality for land use planning. There is no topographic map of the area at a more detailed scale than 1:50,000. So the main document that supports all the data and on which the final hazard map was based is the orthophotograph at 1:5,000 scale (generated from vertical aerial photographs taken in 2000). The method used was based on classical interpretation of vertical aerial photographs (pre Mitch and a post Mitch event), detailed field work, inquiries among the population and analysis of the main pattern of storms occurring in the area. All these data allowed the reconstruction of different extensions and water levels corresponding to events of different frequency and magnitude, and the qualitative association of them to three hazard levels by means of energy and frequency. The use of orthophotographs of 1:5,000 proved to be very useful both for the development of the work and for the presentation of the final map, because they are very easily understandable for people not trained in the interpretation of topographic maps.
(c) Springer Science + Business Media, 2008
Springer Science + Business Media

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