Zurich warns of extreme flood risks

Research by Zurich UK has found that flash floods fuelled by the climate crisis threaten more than two-fifths of businesses in London.

It has found that of London’s 301,000 commercial buildings, 42% are at risk of being hit by surface water flooding. The borough of Kensington and Chelsea was found to have the highest percentage of buildings at threat of flash flooding (63%), followed by Hammersmith and Fulham (56%), Merton (54%), Southwark (54%) and Wandsworth (53%).

Meanwhile, further Zurich analysis revealed nearly half (14,780) of London’s 33,205 basements properties in commercial use are exposed to surface water flooding, with 5,692 facing a ‘high’ or ‘extreme’ flood risk.

David Nichols, Zurich UK’s Chief Claims Officer, said: “Flash floods are one of the most serious climate threats facing the capital. More frequent and severe rainstorms could be hugely disruptive for Londoners, businesses and the city’s economy. Extreme weather is the new normal, and businesses need to adapt. It’s crucial that firms urgently assess the flood risks they face and put in place plans to respond and recover.”

Zurich has advised businesses to assess flood risks and take action to be more resilient to flooding by initiating a detailed flood plan, including electricity cut off points and steps to remove key equipment.


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