Flooding is most feared disaster

FLOODING is the disaster most feared by Irish people, according to the findings of a new EU survey.

It shows three out of five Irish people rank flooding as the disaster which they fell most threatened by.

However, 64% admit they have never taken any steps to prepare for a disaster such as flooding, with only 17% claiming they had already taken some action to minimise the risk of such a threat.

A further 16% said they had not taken action to date but intended doing so.

The Eurobarometer poll reveals 62% of Irish people feel most at risk from flooding compared to the EU average of 45%.

However, Ireland ranks only seventh out of the 27 EU member states which are concerned about the threat posed by flooding.

The risk of flooding is most strongly felt in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary where at least 70% of citizens believe flood waters are the most potent type of natural disaster. Flooding is feared the least in Cyprus, Lithuania, Finland and Italy where less than 22% of the population consider it a major risk.

According to the poll, 78% of Irish people said they did not feel informed about preventive actions taken by state bodies to minimise the potential impact of disasters.

A similar percentage said they did not know about the capacity of government agencies to respond to disasters like flooding.

It also revealed 81% of respondents felt poorly informed about the preparedness of the country to deal with natural and man-made disasters.

Asked who they most trusted to provide information, respondents put most faith in scientists (48%) followed by journalists (34%), the Government and EU institutions (32%), non-Government organisations (16%) and family and friends (16%).

Irish citizens also believe they are exposed to the threat of violent storms as 39% listed extreme bad weather as the second greatest-risk. Other threats felt were industrial accidents (25%), marine pollution (24%), and landslides (17%).


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