In 2017, EM-DAT data indicates that 318 natural disasters occurred, affecting 122 countries. The impact of which resulted in 9,503 deaths, 96 million people affected, and US$314 billion in economic damages.
The human impact of natural disasters in 2017 was much lower than the last 10 year average, where events with extremely high mortality occurred, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti (225,570 deaths) and the 2008 Nargis Cyclone in Myanmar (138,400 deaths).
Floods are amongst the most damaging and recurrent of all disasters.
Data reveals that floods are at the top of the list of disasters that should worry us, defying our perceptions about most dangerous disasters that are often based around the more media savvy earthquakes. Additionally, floods are morphing into new and even more devastating forms in recent years.
Debarati Guha-Sapir, Philippe Hoyois, Pasacline Wallemacq, and Regina Below
Focus on tropical cyclones on American continent “Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are the same weather phenomenon; we just use different names for these storms in different places. In the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, the term “hurricane” is used. The same type of disturbance in the Northwest Pacific is called a “typhoon” and “cyclones” occur in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean” (NOAA, 2017).
Natural disasters over the first semester of 2017
During the first semester of 2017, EM-DAT preliminary data shows that 149 disasters occurred in 73 countries. The impact of which resulted in 3,162 deaths, affected more than 80 million people and caused more than US$32.4 billion (A).
The major disasters were floods and landslides occurring in Asia, South America and Africa (B).