Hannah Klok of the University of Reading said in the Sunday Times that clear indications issued under the European Early Warning System (EFAS) four days before the first floods did not appear to reach the population.
The researcher was involved in the creation of EFAS (European Flood Awareness System), which was established after the devastating floods of the Elbe and Danube rivers in 2002. With the help of meteorological and hydrological data as well as computer models, floods and flash floods are predicted. The goal is to buy time in order to better protect the population.
According to the Copernican Climate Change Service, a first warning was given to the relevant national authorities on July 10. By July 14, more than 25 additional warnings had been issued with constantly updated forecasts for certain areas of the Rhine and Maas.
Although accurate forecasting of individual flood plains has been difficult, the researcher said, there should “certainly have been time” to prepare larger communities with warnings and evacuations. The result shows that a lot has gone wrong.
“People should have received warnings, they should have understood the warnings,” Kluck criticized, adding: “There is no point in using giant computer models to predict what will happen if people don’t know what to do with one they should act against a flood.”