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UNISDR Finally Catches On!

Posted by feww on November 23, 2015

Nine out of ten disasters weather-related: UNISDR

According to a new report issued today by the UN, “The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters,” between 1995 and 2015, about 90% of all major disasters were caused by floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts and other weather-related events.

Over the past 20 years, some 6,457 recorded weather-related disasters have killed 606,000 people, left 4.1 billion others injured, homeless or in need of aid.

The five countries that experienced the highest number of disasters were the United States (472), China (441), India (288), Philippines (274), and Indonesia, (163).

Economic losses from weather-related disasters are much higher than the previously reported figure of US$1.891 trillion, which accounts for 71% of all losses attributed to “natural disasters” over the twenty-year period, says the report. “Only 35% of records include information about economic losses. UNISDR estimates that the true figure on disaster losses – including earthquakes and tsunamis – is between US$250 billion and US$300 billion annually.”

Key Details of the Report

  • Asia experienced the largest share of disaster impacts including 332,000 deaths and 3.7 billion people affected. The death toll included 138,000 deaths caused by Cyclone NARGIS (Myanmar, 2008).
  • An average of 335 weather-related disasters were recorded per year between 2005 and 2014, an increase of 14% from 1995-2004, and almost twice the level recorded during 1985-1995.
  • Some  87 million homes were damaged or destroyed over the survey period (CRED’s Emergency Events Data Base, or EM-DAT).
  • Floods, affecting 2.3 billion people and killing 157,000 souls accounted for 47% of all weather-related disasters. Storms were the deadliest type of weather-related disaster, accounting for 242,000 deaths or 40% of the global weather-related deaths, with 89% of these deaths occurring in lower-income countries.
  • Heatwaves accounted for 148,000 of the 164,000 lives lost due to extreme temperatures. 92% of heatwave deaths occurred in high-income countries, with Europe accounting for 90%.
  • Drought affected Africa most, with 136 events recorded, including 77 droughts in East Africa alone.

Release Date: 23 Nov 2015

Source: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)

Download the report

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