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Natural Disaster Data Book 2020 (An Analytical Overview)

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Introduction

Annually, ADRC publishes the Natural Disaster Data Book to provide statistical perspectives in figures and tables of natural disaster data. ADRC obtains data from EM-DAT and analyses it to show the occurrence, death tolls, people affected, and economic impact of disasters.

For this year’s (FY2020) issue, two sets of data for statistical perspectives are added: data relating to climate-related disasters and data relating to COVID-19 situation.

The approach of presenting the data is as follow:

  • Natural disaster data of 2020 is compared with the annual average of disaster data of the past three decades (i.e.,1990-2019) at the global level and at the Asian level

  • Climate-related disasters of 2020 is compared with the annual average of the past three decades (i.e., 1990-2019) at the global level and at the Asian level

  • COVID-19 situation (i.e., using cumulative data of confirmed cases and deaths) is presented at global level as well as in the ADRC member countries

While many observations could be made after looking at the infographics, the following could be highlighted.

Firstly, flood and storm have been the most frequent causes of disasters in 2020 as well as during the last 30 years. These two disaster types also account for the highest number of people affected and the highest economic losses in 2020 and in the last 30 years. This observation indicates that disaster risk reduction and management actions for flood and storm need further improvements.

Secondly, flood and storm (unlike earthquake) are climate-related disaster types that show the tendency of frequently occurring, as observed in 2020 and during the last 30 years. This observation is notable not only globally, but also, in Asia.

Thirdly, the number of confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 has peaked in several occasions since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the pandemic on 11 March 2020. The highest peak so far was on 26 April 2021, recording a total of 5,695,585 COVID-19 confirmed cases globally on that day. Although some western countries rolled out vaccines, there emerged some COVID-19 variants (e.g., delta variant) that might have contributed to the increasing number of confirmed cases. In ADRC member countries, cumulative data shows that COVID-19 situation is so varied, reflecting the differences in policies as well as socioeconomic conditions of Asian countries.

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