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Archive for the ‘natural disasters’ Category

Earthquakes: Worst Disaster Type in Past Decade

Posted by feww on January 29, 2010

Earthquakes caused the deadliest disasters in 2000-09 decade: UNISDR

In its recent News Brief, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (UNISDR) reported that about 60 per cent of the people killed by disasters in the past decade died as a result of earthquakes.


List of Top 10 Natural disasters by number of deaths – 2009. Source: UNISDR. Click image to enlarge.

“Earthquakes are the deadliest natural hazard of the past ten years and remain a serious threat for millions of people worldwide as eight out of the ten most populous cities in the world are on earthquake fault-lines,” said Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.

“Disaster risk reduction is an indispensable investment for each earthquake-prone city and each community. Seismic risk is a permanent risk and cannot be ignored. Earthquakes can happen anywhere at any time. Risk reduction will be a main priority in the Haiti reconstruction process, and we will be working with our partners to ensure that it is central in the reconstruction.”

The Center for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) has released the following statistics covering the past 10 years:

Number of disasters for 2000-20009 period: 3,852 disasters

  • Death toll from the disasters: 780,000 people
  • Total number of people affected by the disasters: about a thirs of the planet’s population (more than two billion people)
  • Cost of the damage caused by the disasters: About 1 trillion (US$960 billion).

The worst hit continent in terms of human losses:  Asia, accounting for 85 per cent of all fatalities.

Disaster Types

  • The worst category: Earthquakes, accounting for 60 percent of the fatalities
  • Second Worst Disaster Category:  Storms, accounting for 22 percent of the deaths.
  • Third deadliest: Extremes of Temperature, accounting for 11  percent of the casualties.

The deadliest disasters of the 2000-2009 decade:

  • Indian Ocean Tsunami:   Struck several countries in Asia (2004),  leaving 226,408 dead
  • Cyclone Nargis: Struck  Myanmar (2008), killing 138,366 people
  • Sichuan earthquake:  China (2008) killed at least 87,476 people
  • Pakistan (2005) earthquake: Killed 73,338 people w
  • Heat waves in Europe (2003): Killed 72,210


Human impact by disaster types. Source: UNISDR. Click image to enlarge.

“The number of catastrophic events has more than doubled since the 1980-1989 decade. In contrast, the numbers of affected people have increased at a slower rate. This may be due to better community preparedness and prevention,” said Professor Guha-Sapir, Director of CRED.

Of the more than two billion affected people

  • 44 per cent were affected by floods
  • 30 per cent by droughts
  • ONLY 4 per cent by earthquakes

The  death toll for the last 3 decades (annual average)

  • 2000 decade: 78,000 people per year(ppy)
  • 1990s decade: 43,000 ppy
  • 1980s decade: 75,000  (worsened by two major droughts and famines in Ethiopia and Sudan)

Natural Hazard Events (annual average) and Estimated Economic  Damage

  • 2000 decade: 385  at a cost of US$96 billion
  • 1990 decade: 285  at a cost of US$99 billion
  • 1980 decade: 165  at a cost of US$39 billion


Percentage of people killed by natural disasters by region. Source: UNISDR. Click image to enlarge.

In 2009, some 10,416 people were killed in 327 disasters and  a further 113 million others were affected. Cost of the economic damage:  US$34.9 billion. {there were no major disasters). the total number of people killed and affected by disasters was lower than in 2008, as no major disaster occurred.

In contrast, the 2000-2008 annual averages were 85,535 (deaths), 229,792,397 (affected) and US$102.7 billion (economic damages).


Natural disaster occurrence by disaster type. Source: UNISDR. Click image to enlarge.

The worst disaster in 2009

The worst disaster in 2009 (highest death toll) was the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, on 30 September, killing at least 1,100 people.  It was followed by typhoons Morakot, Ketsana and Parma and numerous floods that killed many in Asia, which was home to six of the top 10 countries with the highest number of disaster-related deaths.

Most populous cities on EQ fault-lines (A-Z): Delhi, Jakarta, Kolkata Mexico City, Mumbai, New York, Shanghai and Tokyo.

Source: UNISDR; edited by FEWW

Note: IF the numbers of fatalities/casualties in a given disaster are claimed to be larger than a few hundreds, and no video or photographic evidence is presented to support the claim, those figures should be carefully analyzed. Governments and aid organizations invariably exaggerate the casualty figures to maximize the inflow of aid and donations for self-serving purposes and interests other than those of the victims. See footnote at https://feww.wordpress.com/earthquake/haiti-earthquake-disaster/

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Posted in disaster, disaster continent, natural disasters, storms, UNISDR | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Stick the Policies, Stop the Climate Change!

Posted by feww on February 12, 2009

What is it that the governments around the world don’t understand about the climate change?

Your Majesties, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Excellencies: The banksters that you serve are destroying the world’s ability to support life. Don’t be party to the crimes of ecocide and mass murder of species.

Stop the exponential growth economy!

Australian Firefighters Tell Their Government to ‘Stick’ its Policies and  Stop the Climate Change!

After a week of deadly bushfires that killed 181 people [the death toll would probably rise further,] and destroyed more than a thousand homes making 5,000  homeless, the Australian firefighters called on their government to change its disastrous policies.


The remains of cars destroyed by bushfires are seen in the town of Flowerdale, 80km (50 miles) north of Melbourne February 11, 2008. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas
. Image may be subject to copyright.

“Without a massive turnaround in policies, aside from the tragic loss of life and property, we will be asking firefighters to put themselves at an unacceptable risk,” United Firefighters Union of Australia said in an open letter to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

“We understand that our job is dangerous by its very nature. However, we are gravely concerned that current … policies seem destined to ensure a repeat of the recent tragic events,” said the union.

The firefighters union together with Green politicians and environmental activists assert that “the deadly infernos are a climate change wake-up call to Australia.” Reuters said.

“Australia is one of the most vulnerable nations to climate change because of its hot, dry environment, but with its dependence on coal-fired power, Rudd has set a target to cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by only 5 percent by 2020.” The report said.

As strong winds amid soaring temperatures fanned several bushfires which ripped through small towns north of Melbourne on Saturday night,  Melbourne’s temperature reached a record 46.4 degrees Celsius (115.5 degrees Fahrenheit).

The cost of damage  could exceed $2 billion, according to Standard & Poors.

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Posted in cliamte change, Kevin Rudd, mass extinction, natural disasters, United Firefighters Union of Australia | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Latest From TAAL and other Philippines Volcanoes

Posted by feww on August 31, 2008

As per FEWW Forecast, Taal Volcano has begun seismic unrest significantly increasing the probability of  explosive eruptions

Taal Volcano Advisory

From: Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology

28 August 2008 –  4:00 P.M.

This is to notify the public and concerned authorities on the ongoing seismic unrest at Taal Volcano.

The Taal seismic network recorded ten (10) volcanic earthquakes from 5:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. today. Two (2) of these quakes that occurred at 12:33 and 12:46 P.M. were both felt at intensity II by residents at barangay Pira-piraso. These quakes were accompanied by rumbling sounds. The events were located northeast of the volcano island near Daang Kastila area with depths of approximately 0.6km (12:33 P.M.) and 0.8km (12:46 P.M.)


Taal Volcano Seen through Lake Taal (Photo: Jhun Taboga)


A cinder cone in an acidic lake on Taal Volcano (Credit: JG Moore of the US Geological Survey)

Surface thermal observations however, did not indicate significant change in the thermal and steam manifestations of the Main Crater Lake area.

The increase in seismicity at Taal Volcano reflects a low-level episode of unrest. Alert Level 1 remains in effect over Taal Volcano. At present, no imminent eruption is indicated although the public is advised to observe some precautions. In this regard, PHIVOLCS reminds the general public that the Main Crater area is off-limits because steam explosions may suddenly occur. Other hazards within the Main Crater may be the build up of toxic gases in case of more pronounced volcanic reactivation. The northern portion of the Main Crater rim, in the vicinity of Daang Kastila Trail, may also be hazardous, when reactivated with steam emission and increased thermal activity. Furthermore, the public is reminded that Taal Volcano Island is a high-risk area and permanent danger zone, hence, habitation is strictly not recommended.

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Mayon Volcano Advisory

August 10, 2008 – 12:00 P.M.

At 9:12 A.M. today, Mayon Volcano manifested mild ash explosion that reached an approximate height of 200 m above the summit crater before drifting east-northeast. The ash-ejection was recorded as explosion-type earthquake which lasted for one minute by the seismic network deployed around the volcano.Immediately after the explosion, visual observation becomes hampered by the thick clouds. During the past weeks, seismic activity had slightly increased and crater glow had slightly intensified. Precise leveling surveys conducted at Mayon from May 10 – 22, 2008 compared to February 17 – March 2, 2008 survey also showed inflation of the volcanic edifice.

The above observations show that Mayon Volcano is undergoing an episode of increased activity probably related to magma movement and post eruptive behavior of the volcano. Although no major eruption is indicated, steam and ash explosions may occur in the following days.

In view of the above, PHIVOLCS reiterates that Mayon Volcano’s status remains at Alert Level 1. The public, however, is reminded that the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) at the southeastern flank of the volcano and the 6-km radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) at other areas remain off-limits due to the continuing threat from sudden small explosions and rockfalls from the upper slopes. Active river channels and those areas perennially identified as lahar-prone around the volcano should be avoided when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall. PHIVOLCS is keeping a tight watch over Mayon and shall immediately report any significant development to all concerned.

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, natural disasters | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »