The knowledge of natural hazards that occurred in the past is essential for implementing forecasting and prevention actions, for managing risk, and identifying proper land use. Floods do not escape this rule. This article sheds light on an unknown intense rainfall period, which affected the Campania region and the territory of the current Molise region (Southern Italy) on October-November 1961. The period culminated in floods, particularly involving the town of Benevento (Campania region), which had been affected by several inundations over centuries. The research made an extensive use of unpublished archival sources. The documents allowed us to both outline the pluviometric and hydrological picture of the period and catalogue seventeen physical and environmental effects suffered by over two hundred municipalities. Furthermore, we also disclosed the economic consequences in the wide territory involved. Special attention was paid to Benevento, for which we also drew up the scenario map related to the 19 October flood. For this town, historical data were effective for developing and testing the hydraulic model of the Sabato and Calore Rivers, which overflowed at the site. In this regard, we made some considerations on the current flood risk of the town. From a methodological point of view, we stress the importance of a historical approach in close relationship to other expertise for the knowledge of natural hazards, tracing also some future perspectives. The research complies with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goal 11 concerned with making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The research findings will be useful for scholars and practitioners for both improving flood hazard models and arranging archival research path. Finally, local authorities in charge of risk mitigation can also benefit from the research results.

Rewinding the Tape: Documentary Heritage to (Re)discover “Lost” Natural Hazards—Evidence and Inferences from Southern Italy

Bovolin, Vittorio
Formal Analysis
;
Villani, Paolo
Validation
;
2024-01-01

Abstract

The knowledge of natural hazards that occurred in the past is essential for implementing forecasting and prevention actions, for managing risk, and identifying proper land use. Floods do not escape this rule. This article sheds light on an unknown intense rainfall period, which affected the Campania region and the territory of the current Molise region (Southern Italy) on October-November 1961. The period culminated in floods, particularly involving the town of Benevento (Campania region), which had been affected by several inundations over centuries. The research made an extensive use of unpublished archival sources. The documents allowed us to both outline the pluviometric and hydrological picture of the period and catalogue seventeen physical and environmental effects suffered by over two hundred municipalities. Furthermore, we also disclosed the economic consequences in the wide territory involved. Special attention was paid to Benevento, for which we also drew up the scenario map related to the 19 October flood. For this town, historical data were effective for developing and testing the hydraulic model of the Sabato and Calore Rivers, which overflowed at the site. In this regard, we made some considerations on the current flood risk of the town. From a methodological point of view, we stress the importance of a historical approach in close relationship to other expertise for the knowledge of natural hazards, tracing also some future perspectives. The research complies with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goal 11 concerned with making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The research findings will be useful for scholars and practitioners for both improving flood hazard models and arranging archival research path. Finally, local authorities in charge of risk mitigation can also benefit from the research results.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4864353
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