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|Theme: Natural disasters|
Issue: Human vulnerability
to extreme natural events
Number of people affected by natural disasters
The numbers of people killed and affected during disasters reflect
both exposure to the physical threats and the capacity of individuals
and communities to cope with those threats. Both of them are indicators
of human vulnerability and
Number of people killed
For the period 1986–2002, the average total number of reported deaths from natural disasters was approximately 46 000 per year for the world as a whole. Actual numbers vary considerably from one year to the next, and no clear trend is discernible (Figure 7).
Number of people affected
Over the same period, the number of people affected globally by natural disasters, including those injured and left homeless, has risen substantially (Figure 8). In 2002, this figure reportedly reached a total of 600 million.
Economic losses are estimated to have multiplied five times since the 1970s, to a total of US$629 billion for the 1990s (IFRC 2002), while it should be noted that many costs are unaccounted for, especially in developing countries.
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