Natural Disaster Data Book 2019 (An Analytical Overview)

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The Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) Natural Disasters Data Book 2019 provides statistical perspectives in figures and tables for 2019 as well as for the period 1990-2019 based on data obtained by EM-DAT.

According to EM-DAT, 440 natural disasters occurred in 2019 worldwide, killing 24,112 people and affecting approx. 100 million people. The estimated amount of economic damage came over US$102 billion.

In 2019, the epidemics in the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo brought about serious damages to these countries causing 5,400 and 3,559 people killed respectively. India experienced a serious flooding during the monsoon season in this year, causing 1,900 deaths, as well as approx. 3 million people affected. In addition, Europe suffered heat waves in the summer of 2019 and France recorded 868 deaths. The cyclone Idai which brought devastations in the eastern Africa caused 628 and 603 deaths in Zimbabwe and Mozambique respectively, as well as approx. 270,000 and 1.5 million people affected.

The Cyclone Fani caused 20 million people affected in India and the drought in the DPR Korea affected 10.1 million people in 2019.

By region, Asia was ranked the highest in disaster occurrences, number of people affected and amount of economic damage with 38.2 percent in occurrences; number of people affected, 74.4 percent; and amount of economic damage, 60.6 percent. Africa has the largest share in number of people killed with 52.5 percent.

By disaster types, floods and storms accounted for high percentages in the most of indices in 2019. However, epidemic ranked the first in number of people killed in the world with 51.3 percent

Data Book 2019 also contains tables of the 25 worst disasters by number of people killed and affected, economic damage, and their respective ratios to population and gross domestic product (GDP). It also includes tables of 2019 disasters in Asian countries sorted by country and disaster type.

All disaster data are based on EM-DAT: The Emergency Events Database - Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) - CRED, D. GuhaSapir -, Brussels, Belgium. Data set was obtained on 20 July 2019, unless otherwise stated.

EM-DAT Criteria:
For a disaster to be entered into the database, at least one of the following criteria must be fulfilled:
-Ten (10) or more people reported killed
-Hundred (100) or more people reported affected
-Declaration of a state of emergency
-Call for international assistance.

In this Data Book 2019 “people killed” are defined as persons confirmed as dead and persons missing and presumed dead. “People affected” are the sum of injured, homeless, and affected in EM-DAT. EM-DAT defines people affected as people requiring immediate assistance during the period of emergency; requiring basic survival needs such as food, water, shelter, sanitation and immediate medical assistance.

Disaster Terms:
“Drought” includes an extended period of unusually low precipitation that produces a shortage of water for people, animals and plants.
“Earthquake” includes ground shaking and tsunami.
“Epidemic” includes bacterial and viral infectious diseases.
“Extreme Temperature” includes heat wave, cold wave, and extreme winter conditions.
“Flood” includes general flood, and flash flood.
"Insect Infection" is pervasive influx and development of insects or parasites affecting humans, animals, crops and materials.
“Landslide” includes avalanche, debris, and rockfall.
“Storm” includes local storm, tropical cyclone, and winter storm.
“Volcanic activity” means volcanic eruption.
“Wildfire” includes bush/brush fire, forest fire, and scrub/grassland fire.

Classification of EM-DAT:

Country and region classification used in this book is based on EM-DAT criteria.

Asian Disaster Reduction Center
ADRC publishes information on behalf of its members.