Climate change directly impacts human health and security. Natural disasters have the most obvious and immediate impact on people’s health and security as they abruptly destroy property, livelihoods, infrastructure, can be fatal, and often force people to leave their homes and communities. The exposure to floods and land- and mudslides is especially high across the South Caucasus, and the mountainous areas and its communities are hardest hit (UNIDSR 2009). Heavy rainfall in June 2011, for example, resulted in floods and landslides in western and eastern Georgia that caused severe damage to farmland, roads and bridges, canals, water and gas pipelines, and communication networks. Seven people died and a total of 3,000 households were affected (Red Cross 2011). The following year, an extreme hailstorm, windstorm and flash flood affected 20,000 families in the Kakheti region of Georgia and damaged over 5,200 houses, as well as water, gas and electricity distribution systems. The total economic impact when considering the damages and losses came to US$ 123 million (Bergsma 2012).
From collection: Outlook on Climate Change Adaptation in the South Caucasus Mountains