Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Disasters: Bangladesh, NKorea most hit in 2007

In 2007, the top five countries that suffered most from extreme events were Bangladesh, North Korea, Nicaragua, Oman and Pakistan. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Poznan, Poland (AFP) Dec 4, 2008
Bangladesh, North Korea and Nicaragua suffered most from natural disasters in 2007, according to a barometer published on Thursday at the UN climate talks in Poznan.

The Global Climate Risk Index looks at the cost of natural disasters in the light of a country's economy and population in order to get a clear view of its vulnerability.

In absolute terms, extreme weather events inflict a higher bill when they hit rich countries, explained Sven Harmeling of Germanwatch, a German group that compiled the barometer.

This, for instance, was the case with Hurricane Katrina, which inflicted costs of 215 billion dollars when it slammed into the US Gulf Coast in 2005, making it the most expensive storm in history.

But, in relation to the size of a nation's economy, developing countries are hit much harder, Hameling said.

In 2007, the top five countries that suffered most from extreme events were Bangladesh, North Korea, Nicaragua, Oman and Pakistan.

Oman, which had ranked a distant 116th on the 2006 index, featured high in the 2007 lineup because of Cyclone Gonu, an exceptional tropical storm that according to preliminary official estimates inflicted damages of around 3.9 billion dollars.

Over a decade, from 1998-2007, the five worst-hit countries were Honduras, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Germanwatch estimated.

Calculations are based on a basket of factors.

One-quarter of the weighting is derived from the death toll from a disaster; one-quarter on deaths per population; one-sixth on absolute economic losses; and two-sixths on losses as a proportion to GDP.

The data is derived from a long-term database compiled by the German reinsurance giant Munich Re.

Sudden, destructive weather events -- storms, floods and heatwaves -- are included in the estimates, but not droughts or sea-level rise, which are longer-term events and far harder to evaluate, said Harmeling.

"This index reveals that in most cases, developing countries are relatively more affected by extreme events than wealthy countries if you look in economic terms in relation to a country's GDP, and also in terms of the death toll in relation to the population," Harmeling told AFP.

Harmeling said that the index chiefly aimed to give a pointer about a country's vulnerability to climate change.

Single weather events cannot by themselves be attributed to the effects of global warming, which is a long-term, complex affair, he said.

On the other hand, scientists in the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have warned that climate change this year is likely to make extreme weather events more frequent and possibly more intense too.

"We cannot say that such and such an event in Bangladesh this year is a consequence of climate change. What we can say is that assuming that extreme weather events will occur more often under climate change, it points to a future risk for countries due to climate change," said Harmeling.

The presentation was made on the sidelines of the December 1-12 meeting of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which aims at advancing towards a new pact to reduce carbon emissions and channelling help to exposed countries.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Indonesian company says settlement reached with mud volcano victims
Jakarta (AFP) Dec 4, 2008
Indonesian energy company Lapindo said Thursday it had reached a compensation settlement with thousands of victims of a mud volcano which erupted from one of its gas wells.

  • Disasters: Bangladesh, NKorea most hit in 2007
  • Indonesian company says settlement reached with mud volcano victims
  • Avalanches - Triggered From The Valley
  • Climate change overwhelming disaster relief: agencies

  • EU talks on climate change heat up summit nears
  • EU climate efforts will fail without global deal: Merkel
  • Analysis: Skeptics renew climate debate
  • Prehistoric Climate Can Help Forecast Future Changes

  • UNESCO Signs Partnership With JAXA
  • GIS Development Gives Award To Institute Of Photogrammetry
  • NASA Selects NOAA GOES-R Series Spacecraft Contractor
  • Ball Aerospace Completes CDR For Landsat's Operational Land Imager

  • UN climate talks: strut your stuff and save the planet
  • KEMA Advances Understanding Of Energy Storage Technologies
  • Self-powered devices may soon be possible
  • Wind Turbines Generate More Green Jobs In Ontario

  • Zimbabwe pleads for help amid growing cholera epidemic
  • Indonesia's vast Papua in the grip of Asia's worst AIDS crisis
  • Study checks toll of S. Africa's AIDS plan
  • More funding failing to curb AIDS epidemic in Russia: official

  • Study Of Oldest Turtle Fossil
  • Road Kill Leads To Study Of Highway Impact On Environment
  • Land Iguanas Under Continuing Threat On Galapagos Archipelago
  • Bacteria Preserve Fossils

  • Chlorine leak at Siberian chemical factory: report
  • Vo Quy, father of Vietnam's environmental movement
  • 'Cancer village' the dark side of Vietnam's industrial boom
  • Light Pollution Offers New Global Measure Of Coral Reef Health

  • Ecological Impact Of African Cities
  • Gene found to protect against lung cancer
  • Sleep Helps People Learn Complicated Tasks
  • Americans' midsection a weighty issue

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement