New Delhi, Oct 14: India is at third place after China and the United States which recorded the highest number of disasters during the past 20 years (2000—2019), according to a UN report.
The report by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) released in Geneva on October 13 to coincide with the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction confirms how extreme weather events dominated the disaster landscape in the 21st century.
In terms of affected countries globally, China (577 events) and the US (467 events) reported the highest number of disaster events, followed by India (321 events), Philippines (304 events) and Indonesia (278 events). These countries all have large and heterogenous landmasses and relatively high population densities in at-risk areas.
Professor Debarati Guha-Sapir, Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, University of Louvain, Belgium, said “This report covers the first twenty years of this century and does not include biological hazards like COVID-19 but it clearly highlights the level of human suffering and economic loss that result from failure to adapt to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.’’
He warned that if this level of growth in extreme weather events continues over the next twenty years, the future of mankind looked very bleak.
Mami Mizutori, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, said “We are willfully destructive. That is the only conclusion one can come to when reviewing disaster events over the last twenty years. COVID-19 is but the latest proof that political and business leaders are yet to tune in to the world around them.’’
Overall, eight of the top 10 countries by disaster events are in Asia.
Asia suffered the highest number of disaster events. In total, between 2000 and 2019 there were 3,068 disaster events in Asia, followed by the 1,756 in the Americas and 1,192 in Africa.