Kolkata in West Bengal has been identified as one of the most vulnerable cities in the world that is prone to flooding in to a new study conducted by British and Dutch researchers.
The findings were based on a study conducted by a team of researchers from the Netherlands and the University of Leeds, who have developed a new method to calculate 'flood vulnerability' of cities around the globe.
The researchers used their index to analyse the vulnerability to coastal flooding of nine cities built on river deltas, which include Calcutta (India), Casablanca (Morocco), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Osaka (Japan), Shanghai (China), Manila (Philippines), Marseille (France) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands).
According to the study, Calcutta in India and Manila in the Philippines are highly vulnerable to floods because of their large populations and degree of expose to storms.
The vulnerability index also revealed that Shanghai was the most vulnerable city to serious flooding because it is exposed to powerful storm surges and the rising sea levels are subsiding its land.
"A 1-in-100 year flood in Shanghai would lead to widespread damage, with serious consequences for the city, across China and, through wider economic links, for the whole world," said Professor Nigel Wright, who led the team from the University of Leeds.
The study found that Shanghai and Dhaka would remain the most vulnerable cities in 2100, although the vulnerability of all the cities will increase, and will be doubled in the case of Manila.