Nature and Biodiversity

10 countries hardest hit by weather disasters

Emma Luxton
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In the last 20 years, weather-related disasters have claimed 606,000 lives and left 4.1 billion people injured, homeless or in need of emergency assistance.

The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters (1995-2015) report from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Protection (UNISDR) provides an analysis of a 20-year time frame.

Asia experienced the worst effects of the weather, with China and India ranking first and second respectively for the highest absolute number of people affected. In these two countries, more than 3 billion have lost homes and livelihoods in the past 20 years, amounting to 75% of the global total.

1601B02- countries affected by weather disasters china india


Source: UN/CRED

Outside Asia, there are two African nations in the top 10: Kenya and Ethiopia. Brazil is the only South American country to feature, with 51 million people affected by floods, landslides and other natural disasters.

When the data is standardized to reflect the percentage of the population whose lives have been touched by weather events, the top 10 changes substantially. Six African countries feature, with only three from Asia, including China.

Only one European country features in the standardized top 10 list. Moldova was ranked sixth, mainly due to a storm in 2000 whose impact was felt by 2.6 million people from a total population of 3.6 million.

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Author: Emma Luxton is a Junior Content Producer at Formative Content. 

Image: A flood victim carries a rubber ring as he arrives on dry land. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra.

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