Flooding is one of the major natural hazards in Taiwan, and most of the low-lying areas in Taiwan are flood-prone areas. In order to minimize loss of life and economic losses, a detailed and comprehensive decision-making tool is necessary for both flood control planning and emergency service operations. The objectives of this research were (i) to develop a hierarchical structure through the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to provide preferred options for flood risk analysis, (ii) to map the relative flood risk using the geographic information system (GIS), and (iii) to integrate these two methodologies and apply them to one urban and one semi-rural area in central Taiwan. Fushin Township and the floodplain of Fazih River (1 km on either side of the channel) in Taichung City were selected for this study. In this paper, the flood risk is defined as the relative flood risk due to broken dikes or the failure of stormwater drainage systems. Seven factors were considered in relation to the failure of stormwater drainage, and five to that of broken dikes. Following well-defined procedures, flood maps were drawn based on the data collected from expert responses to a questionnaire, the field survey, satellite images, and documents from flood management agencies. The relative values of flood risk are presented using a 200-m grid for the two study areas. It is concluded that integration of AHP and GIS in flood risk assessment can provide useful detailed information for flood risk management, and the method can be easily applied to most areas in Taiwan where required data sets are readily available.
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