A report released by the United Nations agency for disaster reduction (UNISDR) and the Louvain University Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) has shown that natural disasters are causing fewer deaths in Asia but are affecting the lives of more people.
The report analysed natural disasters which occurred in Asia from January to October this year. During this timeframe, there were 83 natural disasters which caused 3,103 deaths, affected 64.5 million people and caused 15.1 billion USD in damages. The worst hit countries were China, the Philippines and Indonesia (figures from the recent typhoon in the Philippines, Bopha, were not included as it occurred outside of this timeframe).
Comparing these figures to those from the period 2002 to 2011, the effectiveness of immediate disaster response programs in the region becomes evident. During the aforementioned time, natural disasters caused 6,664 deaths in Asia per year and affected about 22 million people.
The average economic fallout from natural disasters in the region is however rising, possibly due to urban population booms and rapid development of infrastructure in certain areas, meaning that existing emergency disaster response systems, which have been effective in reducing the death toll during a natural disaster, will now need to be adapted to accommodate these issues.Check out the rest of the report's findings here.
Sources and links:
- The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction: unisdr.org
- Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters: cred.be
Author: Anna Rees/ RESET editorial