Trends in disaster impacts

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The Number of Deaths are Falling

Falling since 1960s

1920 - average was 500,000 deaths

2009 - average was 50,000 deaths

but pattern can be skewed by rare, high magnitude events

far fewer deaths in DEVELOPED than in DEVELOPING

  • PRE DISASTER better monitoring/prediction/assessment/education
  • DURING DISASTER better management/emergency response eg FEMA
  • POST DISASTER greater resilience because greater disposable incomes
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The Numbers Affected are Increasing

1970s - 100 million affected

2009 - 300 million affected

far higher numbers in developing world but with similar overall pattern

  • better reporting/media coverage
  • increasing world population
  • greater value of possessions
  • growing population in developing world
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The Economic Losses are increasing

1980 - 20 billion average

2009 - 150 billion

rate increasing faster than the number of hazards

  • value of possessions 
  • sophistication of infrastructure
  • scale of insurance claims

upward trend in both but it's greater in developed countries

ALTHOUGH relatively, costs much higher in developing countries eg % of GDP eg Hurricane Mitch cost Nicaragua $20 billion (50% GDP), Japan had $166 billion over 10 years (2% GDP)

Rapid economic growth in countries like china contributing to upward trend

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