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Asia and Africa most vulnerable to disasters and their effects

The Natural Hazards Vulnerability Index from risk analysts Verisk Maplecroft has Identified that countries and mega-cities across Asia are highly exposed to natural hazards ranging from cyclones to earthquakes, but people in sub-Saharan Africa are more vulnerable.

Nearly 1.4 billion people in South Asia — India, Bangladesh, Pakistan — face at least one major threat from nature, especially flooding, severe storms boosted by rising seas, and quakes. China, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines are also among the nations with the largest numbers of people in harm’s way.

The capacity to cope with disaster can determine whether a high-magnitude earthquake, for example, will cause hundreds of deaths, as happened in Chile in 2010, or hundreds of thousands, as befell Haiti in the same year.

South Sudan — plagued by drought and war — heads the list of the countries most defenceless against disaster, followed by Burundi, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Chad, Niger, Sudan, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“This analysis shows that governance is key to lower vulnerability,” the report said

For more information, go to www.maplecroft.com

Image courtesy of Mate 1st Class Bart A. Bauer

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Asia Pacific Fire, Editor