Syria faces a spectrum of natural hazards, encompassing not only drought and desertification but also recurring instances of floods. Notable flood events include the partial collapse of the Zeyzoun dam in northwest Syria in 2002 and a flood that struck Al Hasakeh City in the northeastern region in 2006. These flood occurrences have resulted in the obstruction of vital highways and roads across the country, inundation of irrigated areas in multiple governorates, and the deterioration of historical sites. According to the INFORM country risk profile for Syria in 2016, the annual expected exposure of individuals to floods in Syria stands at 48,875, and the physical exposure to flood risk is rated at 4.8. One poignant incident illustrating this vulnerability occurred in February 2015 when a family of four tragically drowned following the flooding of the Al Kabeer Al Shemali River in Latakia. This flood event inundated citrus groves and greenhouses on both sides of the river course. The purpose of this paper is to carry out a comprehensive assessment of flood vulnerability along the Al Kabeer Al Shemali River in Latakia utilizing the HEC-RAS software. The submerged areas and flood-affected regions were identified using Geographic Information System (GIS) tools and the ARC.GIS program, along with Digital Elevation Models (DEM) for contour lines. The findings indicated that the agricultural sector and urban facilities along the length of the Northern Great River in Latakia are highly vulnerable to the impact of flooding, suggesting that the river is prone to flood hazards. Furthermore, the results highlight that the majority of buildings in the industrial zone are significantly exposed to the risk of flooding according to assumed different recurrence intervals.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Syria, Flood risk, Al Kabeer Al Shemali River, HEC-RAS modeling, Geographic Information System (GIS)