For  the last decade, China, the United States, Indonesia, the Philippines and India constitute together the top 5 countries that are most frequently hit by natural disasters. The Flooding in the South and East Germany was the most costly natural disaster in 2013 with estimated economic damages of US$12.9 billion.
The number and impacts of disasters have increased in Europe in the period 1998-2009, a new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) concludes. The Agency's new report 'Mapping the impacts of natural hazards and technological accidents in Europe' addresses three different types of hazards: hydrometeorological or weather related (storms, extreme temperature events, forest fires, droughts, floods), geophysical (snow avalanches, landslides, earthquakes, volcanoes) and technological (oil spills, industrial accidents, toxic spills from mining activities). In the period covered by the report, disasters caused nearly 100 000 fatalities, affected more than 11 million people and led to economic losses of about EUR 150 billion.Extreme temperature events caused the highest number of human fatalities. EU legislation already adopted or initiated: the Floods Directive, the Seveso II Directive or the Community framework in disaster prevention within the EU, supported by risks assessment and mapping guidelines for disaster management. The report assesses the occurrence and impacts of disasters and the underlying hazards such as storms, extreme temperature events, forest fires, water scarcity and droughts, floods, snow avalanches, landslides, earthquakes, volcanoes and technological accidents in Europe for the period 1998-2009.
Europe's freshwaters are affected by water scarcity, droughts, floods and physical modifications. Climate change is happening and will continue to have far-reaching consequences for human and natural systems. Statistics provide hunting reminder that no country is without risk of being hit by natural disasters.
The Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 killed over 220,000 people according to the United Nations and made millions homeless, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history. From floods to earthquake to other natural disasters, the past century has seen devastating disasters. The low number of reported natural disasters in 2013, when compared to the annual average occurrence from 2003 to 2012, was mostly due to a smaller number of hydrological and climatological disasters, 18% and 45% below their 2003 - 2012 annual average, respectively.


Victims from these three cyclones accounted for 38.7 per cent of all natural disaster victims of 2013. The report assesses the frequency of disasters and their impacts on humans, the economy and ecosystems and calls for better integrated risk disaster management across Europe. Some measures are best suited to be managed at household or municipal level, such as the improvement of natural drainage to prevent pluvial flooding or suitable care and housing for elderly people that can buffer the effects of heat waves.
Many water bodies are at risk of failing to meet the aim of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) to achieve good status by 2015.
The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
Future policies should encourage demand management through actions such as increasing water efficiency.
According to data collected by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), human toll from natural disasters in the last 100 years has been staggering.
The region occupies 30% of the world's land mass, but 40% of the world's disasters occurred in the region in the past decade, resulting in a disproportionate 80% of the world's disaster deaths. Major economic losses in the region are predominantly due to earthquakes and tsunamis, the region’s most destructive disasters which ironically also occur frequently.
Desertification is aggravated by climate change and human activities and it is estimated that by 2030, water scarcity in some places will displace up to 700 million people. Earthquakes caused most harm with almost 19 000 recorded fatalities and overall losses of about EUR 29 billion.Technological accidents caused the most severe ecosystem impacts. In addition, water management will benefit from applying an ecosystems perspective, using floodplains and groundwater aquifers for storing water, and making room (space) for rivers.
As the graph indicates, draughtshave claimed more lives than any other natural disaster in Asia.


During the last 10 years, according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, majority of deaths in Asia were caused by earthquakes.
On top of the casualties, many more people were reported missing, more than half a million people were left without a home as entire villages were destroyed. To put the financial losses for one year in perspective, in 2012 alone Asia lost US$15 billion due to natural disasters, according to data released by the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). Nine Asian Development Bank member countries including China, India and Pakistan, have large land areas within the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid zones and therefore, as the table shows, these countries remain most vulnerable to desertification.
The oil spills from the tankers Erika (1999) and Prestige (2002) caused some of the worst ecological disasters in European waters and the toxic waste spills from the mining activities in Aznacollar, Spain (1999), and Baia Mare, Romania (2000), seriously affected the environment not only in the immediate aftermath, but also in the long term.
India with a total of 1,649,557 square kilometers of areas is topping the list of extremely vulnerable countries to desertification. The region remains exposed to more natural disasters and according to the Asian Development Bank, the region’s economic progress will be undermined by the rising number of floods, landslides and other disasters.
The unprecedented geographical scope and the number of people killed made the Tsunami one of the worst natural disasters in Asia. If you look at the larger picture, disasters have taken a heavy toll on the region’s economy in the last 100 years. That provides a stark reminder that Asia’s many densely populated and expanding coastal cities will in particular remain vulnerable to weather-related disasters such as storms and floods.



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