Are natural disasters increasing?

According to the International Emergency Disasters Database and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction , the frequency, duration and magnitude of natural hazards have increased over the last 40 years. For example, the UNDP (2004) reports that annual economic losses associated with natural disasters averaged 75.5 USD billion in the 1960s, 138.4 USD billion in the 1970, 213.9 USD billion in the 1980s and 659.9 USD billion in the 1990s. In particular, countries of low and medium development status are particularly vulnerable. They account for 85 percent of the people vulnerable to cyclones, droughts, floods, and earthquakes; between 1980 and 2000, an average of 184 deaths per day related to natural hazards was recorded, 53 percent of them occurred in countries with low-development level (UNDP 2004). In terms of post-disaster recovery, economic losses due to natural disasters are 20 times greater (as a percent of GDP) in developing countries than in developed countries (CRED 2008).


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