India Ranks Third Among Natural Disaster Affected Countries

Pablo Tucker
October 14, 2020

Covid-19 is the latest evidence that political and business leaders are still unable to reconcile with the world around them, "said Mami Mizuturi, UNDRR chief".

These events have claimed 1.23 million lives and affected 4.2 billion people, resulting in approximately$2.97 trillion in global economic losses.

The last two decades have seen no fewer than 7,348 disaster events that killed 1.23 million people, or about 60,000 per year, deaths that affected four billion people, the United Nations panel said.

These are disasters which have "killed ten or more people; affected 100 or more people; resulted in a declared state of emergency; or a call for global assistance".

More than 11,000 disasters can be attributed to water-related weather events over the past 50 years, the agency said, events that have caused 2 million deaths and cost the world economy $3.6 trillion. The report found floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts, hurricanes and wildfires have all significantly increased in the past 20 years.

Asia was the worst hit from climate disasters in the past 20 years, suffering from 3,068 disaster events between 2000 and 2019.

The data showed that Asia has suffered the highest number of disasters in the past 20 years with 3,068 such events, followed by the Americas with 1,756 and Africa with 1,192.

Geo-physical events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes have killed more people than any of the other natural hazards reviewed, the report said.

There has been some success in protecting vulnerable communities thanks to better early warning systems and responses, the report said.

Floods have constituted 40 percent of disasters while storms, earthquakes and extreme temperatures have equalled to 28, eight and six percent, respectively.

But researchers warn that "the odds continue to be stacked against" these communities.

Global temperatures will continue to warm over the next five years, and may even temporarily rise to more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in July.

Mizutori and Guha-Sapir called on countries to do more to strengthen disaster risk governance and to better prepare for future climate catastrophes.

The world is now well on its way to a 3.2-degree Celsius temperature increase, CNN reported, absent a drastic cut in greenhouse gas emissions that doesn't seem forthcoming.

The report further adds that there has been a rise in climate-related disasters including extreme weather events over this time period. That would require emissions reduction of 7.2% annually for 10 years, CNN said.

The last two decades have seen several climate-related emergencies, posing a major challenge to human life and its surrounding environment, according to a recent United Nations disaster report.

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