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Several severe flooding events have occurred in Europe over recent decades, causing loss of life, displacement of people and heavy economic losses (EEA 2011a). Since 1980 to 2011, more than 325 major river floods have been reported for all EEA member countries and co-operating countries, of which more than 200 have been reported since 2000. The rise in the reported number of flood events over recent decades results mainly from better reporting and from land-use changes. According to EM-DAT (2012), floods (including flash floods) have resulted in more than 2,500 fatalities and affected more than 5.5 million people in the period from 1980 to 2011. Direct economic losses over this same period amounted to more than EUR 90 billion (based on 2009 values).

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