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The Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters$
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Debarati Guha-Sapir and Indhira Santos

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199841936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841936.001.0001

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The Frequency and Impact of Natural Disasters

The Frequency and Impact of Natural Disasters

(p.7) 1 The Frequency and Impact of Natural Disasters
The Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters

Debarati Guha-Sapir

Olivia D’Aoust

Femke Vos

Philippe Hoyois

Oxford University Press

The world is facing the impact of natural disasters on human lives and economy on a colossal scale. In 2008, 321 disasters killed 235,816 people, affected 211 million others and cost a total of US$181 billion. Asia account for a large share of these figures. The most frequent disasters are floods and storms, accounting for 70% of the natural disasters that occurred between 1950 and 2008. This chapter builds on the international Emergency Disasters Database (EM-DAT) to provide an overview of both the occurrence and the human and economic consequences of natural disasters across time and space. It also points out that statistics are essential forthe understanding of risk profiles and severity of impact, and calls for more standardized definitions and methods. In particular, the economic damages of natural disasters are largely underreported.

Keywords:   natural disaster, Emergency Disasters Database, Impact of natural disasters

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