Asia-Pacific Humanitarian Bulletin 2013
Natural Disasters in Asia-Pacific 2013
Regional Humanitarian Partnerships Forum 2013
Partnering with Regional Organizations
NATURAL DISASTERS IN ASIA-PACIFIC 2013
In an intense year the largest natural disasters in 2013 were heavily concentrated in Asia and the Pacific. The year was marked by 137 natural disasters in the region, compared with 93 separate events in 2012. The number of people killed by disasters was almost six times higher in 2013 than in 2012. The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters recorded a total of 18,375 people killed and 82 million affected. China and the Philippines experienced the greatest number of disasters in 2013.
The increase in the number of deaths is mainly due to Super Typhoon Haiyan (called Yolanda in the Philippines), which was the deadliest event of 2013, killing more than 6,000 people and leaving 14 million affected. However, the number of people affected by natural disasters in 2013 was only slightly higher than the number in 2012. The South-East Asia floods from June to October 2013 affected more than 3.9 million people in four countries (Cambodia, Viet Nam, Lao PDR and Thailand). China and India were also heavily affected by floods. Other notable events during the year in the region included the Bohol Earthquake (the Philippines), Super Typhoon Utor (China and the Philippines), Tropical Storm Trami (China and the Philippines), Typhoon Nari (the Philippines and Viet Nam) and Typhoon Mahasen (Bangladesh and Sri Lanka). Major political and religious conflicts continued in Mindanao in the Philippines, and in Kachin and Rakhine States in Myanmar.
The most frequently occurring hazards in the region were floods, which accounted for 40 per cent of the region’s disasters, while 35 per cent were storms. Together, these two types of disasters were responsible for almost 90 per cent of people affected or killed. Of the 29 disasters that prompted the deployment of international humanitarian tools and services (e.g. Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC), and OCHA Situation Reports), 10 were tropical cyclones and eight were floods. Flooding and storms were the most common and destructive disasters in the Asia-Pacific region between 2000 and 2013, with the exceptions being those years when large seismic events, such as the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Wenchuan earthquake and the Japan tsunami, caused large numbers of deaths.
The overall economic losses from natural disasters in Asia-Pacific during 2013 were nearly double those registered in 2012. The three costliest events of the year in Asia-Pacific, which each caused more than US$10 billion in losses, occurred in China (a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in Sichuan Province and severe drought across central and eastern China) and the Philippines (Typhoon Haiyan).