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2018: Extreme weather events affected 60m people

2019-02-21  |   Editor : jiping  
Category : News

Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, said: “No part of the globe was spared from the impact of extreme weather events last year. Examined floods, droughts, storms and wildfires affected 57.3 million people, underlining once more that if we want to reduce disaster losses, then we must improve how we manage disaster risk.

“Time is running out for limiting global warming to 1.5˚C or 2˚C. We have to be equally active about climate change adaptation which means reducing disaster risk in our cities, avoiding the creation of new risk by better land use, stronger planning regulations and building codes, safeguarding protective eco-systems, reducing poverty, and taking active measures to reduce exposure to rising sea levels.”

The 2018 toll of 10,373 lives lost compares with an annual average of 77,144 deaths recorded between 2000 and 2017, averages which are inflated by large-scale loss of life in catastrophic events such as the Indian Ocean tsunami (2004), Cyclone Nargis (2008) and the Haitian earthquake (2010). There were no such mega-disasters in 2018 but loss of life from major natural hazards appears to be on the decline likely due to improving standards of living and better disaster risk management.

Seismic activity including earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity disrupted the lives of 3.4 million people last year and claimed more lives than any other hazard type, including Indonesia (4,417), Guatemala (425) and Papua New Guinea (145).

Floods continued to affect the largest number of people, 35.4 million people, including 23 million people in Kerala, India. They caused 2,859 deaths including India (504), Japan (220), Nigeria (199), and Korea DPR (151).

Storms affected 12.8 million people last year and caused a recorded 1,593 deaths. It is anticipated that storms, particularly due to hurricanes Florence (14 billion USD) and Michael (16 billion USD) and typhoon Jebi (12.5 billion USD), will be the costliest type of disaster of 2018 once final economic losses are compiled.

Wildfires in Europe and North America claimed a record number of lives as Greece (126) had the deadliest European wildfire on record, and the United States (88) had its deadliest wildfire in over a century, and costliest wildfire on record (estimated 16.5 billion USD).

The CRED statistics highlight that 9.3 million people were affected by drought worldwide, including Kenya (3 million), Afghanistan (2.2 million), and Central America (2.5 million), including migration hotspots Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Insufficient reporting from drought and extreme temperatures events hinder a better understanding of these events worldwide.

Debarati Guha-Sapir, head of CRED at UCLouvain, said: “The impact of all disasters, particularly drought and extreme temperatures are notoriously poorly reported, especially from low-income countries. The human impact of these events, are difficult to quantify, but it needs to be done urgently, especially in order to report on specific SDG target indicators. Therefore, innovative approaches that measure progress in resilience and the adaptive capacity of communities needs to be addressed by appropriate UN agencies.”

UN member States are committed to reducing disaster losses and implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), the global plan for reducing disaster losses which has a clear focus on reducing mortality and the numbers of disaster affected people, as well as reducing associated economic losses and damage to critical infrastructure.

Death Toll by Disaster Type (2018 vs. average 21st Century)

Event 2018 Average (2000-2017)
Drought 0 1,361
Earthquake 4,321 46,173
Extreme temperature 536 10,414
Flood 2,859 5,424
Landslide 282 929
Mass movement (dry) 17 20
Storm 1,593 12,722
Volcanic activity 878 31
Wildfire 247 71
Total 10,733 77,144

Source: EM-DAT (International Disaster Database)

Top 10 Countries by Number of People Affected (2018)

Country Total Number of People Affected
1. India 23,900,348
2. Philippines 6,490,216
3. China 6,415,024
4. Nigeria 3,938,204
5. Guatemala 3,291,359
6. Kenya 3,211,188
7. Afghanistan 2,206,750
8. USA 1,762,103
9. Japan 1,599,497
10. Madagascar 1,472,190

Source: EM-DAT (International Disaster Database)

Top 10 Countries by Total Death Toll (2018)

Country Total Death Toll
1. Indonesia 4,535
2. India 1,388
3. Guatemala 427
4. Japan 419
5. China 341
6. Nigeria 300
7. United States of America 298
8. Pakistan 240
9. Korea DPR 237
10. Philippines 221

Source: EM-DAT (International Disaster Database)

Total Number of People Affected by Disaster Type (2018 vs. average 21st Century)

Event 2018 Average (2000-2017)
Drought 9,368,345 58,734,128
Earthquake 1,517,138 6,783,729
Extreme temperature 396,798 6,368,470
Flood 35,385,178 86,696,923
Landslide 54,908 263,831
Mass movement (dry) 0 286
Storm 12,884,845 34,083,106
Volcanic activity 1,908,770 169,308
Wildfire 256,635 19,243
Total 61,772,617 193,312,310

Source: EM-DAT (International Disaster Database)

Total Deaths Tolls by Year (21st Century)

Year Death Toll Major Events (5000+ Deaths)
2000 9,609
2001 30,844 Gujarat Earthquake
2002 12,124
2003 109,827 Bam Earthquake, European Heatwave
2004 242,765 Indian Ocean Earthquake
2005 88,673 Kashmir Earthquake
2006 24,239 Java Earthquake
2007 16,960
2008 235,256 Cyclone Nargis, Sichuan Earthquake
2009 10,672
2010 297,140 Haiti Earthquake, Russian Heatwave, Somalia Drought
2011 51,434 Japan Earthquake
2012 10,319
2013 21,859 North India Floods, Typhoon Haiyan
2014 7,993
2015 22,774 Nepal Earthquake
2016 8,512
2017 9,734
2018 10,733
Total 1,221,465

Source: EM-DAT (International Disaster Database)

Sources:United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction(UNISDR), https://www.unisdr.org/archive/ 63267

Provided by the IKCEST Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Service System

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