Climate extreme events such as floods and droughts in any area have a significant impact on human life, infrastructure, agriculture, and the economy. In the last two years, flash floods caused by heavy rainstorms have become frequent and destructive in many catchments in Northern Iraq. The present study aims to examine flash floods in the Erbil region, Northern Iraq using Remote sensing (RS), Geographic Information System (GIS), and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for geomorphic data. PCA results revealed that 12 geomorphic parameters exhibited a significant correlation with two different statistical components. To facilitate practical application, ranks are assigned based on the calculated parameters for flood susceptibility mapping. Out of the 24 basins in the current study, three basins (16, 3, and 14) have the highest geomorphometric values (36–39), indicating the zone most susceptible to flash floods and making up a maximum area of 38.58% of the studied region. Six basins (4, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 15), which have geomorphometric values between 30 and 35 and cover a land area of 27.86%, are the most moderately vulnerable to floods. The remaining basins, which make up 33.47% of the research, are occasionally subject to floods and have geomorphometric scores below 30. The precision of the flood susceptibility mapping was validated using the bifurcation ratio and drainage density relationship as well as past flood damages, such as economic losses and human casualties. Most of the recorded injuries and fatalities took place in areas that were particularly prone to severe past flooding. Additionally, the investigation revealed that 44.56% of all populated areas are located in extremely vulnerable basins. The findings demonstrate a notable correlation between the identified flood-susceptible areas and the occurrence of past flood damage.
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