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04 Nov 2016 description

Tsunamis are rare, powerful and unpredictable natural hazards, with devastating consequences for coastal populations caught in their path. The vast majority are caused by earthquakes in active seismic areas and occur along a limited range of inhabited shores around the world (Figure 1). In total, 16 major tsunamis killed 250,900 people in 21 countries between 1996 and 2015, according to EM-DAT records.

05 Sep 2016 description

By Brigitte Leoni

PORT VICTORIA, Seychelles, 5 September 2016 - Memories of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which claimed some 230,000 lives, will be revived this week as 24 countries take part in one of the largest tsunami simulations ever staged.

01 Jul 2016 description

1 July 2016, GENEVA – The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) aim to reduce disaster losses in some of the world’s most hazard prone cities with the initial aid of a €6 million grant from the EU, over the next three years. Mr. Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development said: ”Strengthening disaster risk governance is an essential part of sustainable development and a key priority of the Sendai Framework.

25 May 2016 description

By Denis McClean

ISTANBUL, Turkey, 25 May 2016 - The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction has peppered the speeches of government representatives making commitments at the World Humanitarian Summit which closed yesterday.

In particular, the ten ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries which have been at the centre of some of the world’s worst recent disasters led a debate yesterday on how building resilience to disasters can help reduce the humanitarian burden.

08 Feb 2016 description

By Andy McElroy

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, 8 February 2016 – A new training centre located close to the scene of one of the worst disasters of recent decades is championing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction’s call to engage all sectors and levels of society for effective risk management.

26 Dec 2014 description

By Brigitte Leoni

KHAO LAK, THAILAND, 26 December 2014 - It’s exactly ten years since the Indian Ocean Tsunami struck countries across the region, claiming 227,00 lives and leaving communities reeling.

The tragedy, which echoed around the globe, threw the spotlight squarely on just how vulnerable the world is to natural hazards. It was also a stark reminder of the importance of tackling disaster risk head on, by bolstering preparedness and resilience. As such, it spurred a renewed, collective international effort to reduce risk, loss of life and economic damage.

13 Oct 2014 description

By Denis McClean

GENEVA, October 13, 2014 - A tsunami of 4.5 million tweets rolled out across the world today in support of the 25th International Day for Disaster Reduction as UNISDR and HelpAge International joined forces to launch Charter 14 for Older Persons in Disaster Risk Reduction.

10 Apr 2013 description

By Brigitte Leoni

BANGKOK, 10 April 2013 - Five years after Cyclone Nargis claimed over 138,000 lives, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction is joining forces with the media in Myanmar to highlight the lessons learned as the anniversary of the tragedy comes around.

The cyclone which made landfall on May 2, 2008, was the worst such event in the country's history and dramatically exposed the lack of early warning systems and other systemic failings in the country's disaster preparedness.

16 Nov 2011 description

This monthly newsletter aims to highlight UNISDR activities around the world. This issue reports on: (i) the new global risk model planned by UNISDR and partners; (ii) Myanmar commitment to the Hyogo Framework for Action; (iii) Turkish quake highlighting building safety; (iv) floods and vulnerability in El Salvador; (v) children, workers hit by Asian floods; (vi) army and civil service in Lebanon taking on DRR; and (vii) ASEAN seeking risk financing road map. It also contains news stories on major events related to disaster risk reduction (DRR).

04 Nov 2011 description

By Denis McClean

Cyclones, earthquakes, floods and drought combined with poverty have spurred the Myanmar government into complete acceptance of the need for a radical overhaul of its approach to disaster management and risk reduction.

Speaking on International Day for Disaster Reduction, Myanmar Vice-President, Dr. Sai Mauk Kham, pointed to the progress that has been made in the two years since Cyclone Nargis found the country largely unprepared for a disaster of such magnitude.

18 Oct 2011 description

GENEVA, 18 October 2011 – The new Government of Myanmar intends to adopt the disaster risk reduction plan that was drawn up after Cyclone Nargis two years ago following a series of meetings with the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström.

14 Oct 2011 description

GENEVA, 14 October 2011 – Some 80 plus countries commemorated the UN International Disaster Reduction Day (IDDR 11) yesterday. “This welcome groundswell of support concretely demonstrates the growing importance and awareness of risk reduction around the world,” said UNISDR Chief Margareta Wahlström today.

12 Oct 2011 description

GENEVA, 12 October 2011 – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, arrived in Myanmar today at the invitation of the government, on a three-day visit during which she will engage with senior Government Ministers on a national action plan for disaster risk reduction and a Disaster Management Law.

30 Sep 2011 description

Geneva, 30 September - UNISDR Chief Margareta Wahlström today expressed concern at the great number of people who have lost their lives or have been affected by severe floods currently ravaging many countries across Asia.

Heavy rains due to the monsoon season have already claimed hundreds of lives and adversely affected millions of people in Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh, the Philippines and India. Pakistan is now suffering from severe floods for the second year in a row.

28 Oct 2010 description

Incheon, South Korea - Fifty Asian and Pacific region governments have agreed to make risk reduction part of their national climate change adaptation policies to cope with the increase in more frequent and severe weather-related events.

28 Jan 2010 description

UNISDR 2010/01

Geneva - In the past decade, nearly 60 per cent of the people killed by disasters died because of earthquakes, the Center for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) revealed today in a joint press conference with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).

"Earthquakes are the deadliest natural hazard of the past ten years and remain a serious threat for millions of people worldwide as eight out of the ten most populous cities in the world are on earthquake fault-lines," said Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative …

22 Jan 2009 description

Geneva - 2008 saw a marked increase in the number of deaths and economic losses compared to the 2000-2007 yearly average. The Center for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) released disaster figures for 2008 today in Geneva at a joint press conference with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Secretariat.

In 2008, 321 disasters killed 235,816 people, affected 211 million others and cost a total of US$181 billion. Asia remained the main affected continent.