Cred Crunch Newsletter, Issue No. 35 (April 2014) - Natural disasters in 2013

Originally published


Natural disasters in 2013

In 2013, EM-DAT data provisionally indicates that 334 country level disasters occurred, with 109 countries affected. The impact of which resulted in 22,616 people killed, 96 million people affected, and economic damages of 118 billion US$ (A).

Due to an absence of a mega disaster, all 2013 figures are lower than the average from 2003-2012. In terms of economic losses, the average is significantly higher than 2013 figures largely because of major disasters occurring in developed nations, such as the Tohoku Japan earthquake that inflicted economic damages of 217 billion US$ (D). In 2013, mortality was lower than 2003-2012 average perhaps unsurprising given the lack of extremely high mortality events such as the 2005 Haiti earthquake.

2013 was however a notable year for Asia with the continent experiencing 88% of all disaster-related mortality, as compared to the decadal average of 62% (2003-2012) (D). Asia also provided the backdrop to the two deadliest events; with typhoon Haiyan devastating the Philippines (7,986 killed) and imposing damages equalling 5% of national GDP (C), and to a single flood event in India which claimed 6,054 lives (B). The higher attribution of deaths to Asia comes in a year which also saw a reduction in mortality in the disaster prone Central American isthmus where 4% were killed compare to the 23% average (2003-2012), representing a 19% decrease (E).

Disaster type analysis (F) suggests storm events and floods are disproportionately responsible for human impacts. 51% of people affected were attributed to storms, while 33% to floods.
Mortality were most linked to flood events (43%) with storms also significant(41%).

Debarati Guha-Sapir Director, CRED