The impact of weather related disasters Worldwide in 2015 increased over 2014, but remained in line with both the ten and thirty year trend for most types of perils. This information is reported in the Annual Disaster Statistical Review published by Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) and the global insurance industry Annual Statistics published by the NatCatSERVICE of Munich RE.
CRED reports that extreme temperatures in 2015 caused some 7,418 deaths, the second highest number since 2005, but below the peak of 2010 (57,064). Conversely, both the number of deaths from floods (3,449) and storms (1,260) were the lowest since 2005 and significantly below their 2005-2014 annual averages (of 5,933 and 17,769, respectively). These statistics are from the International Disaster Database (EM-DAT) maintained by CRED. CRED is an international collaborative effort including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, the EU, USAID and the Government of Belgium and contains core data on the occurrence and effects of over 22,000 mass disasters in the World from 1900 to the present day.
The EM-DAT database is compiled from various sources, including UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, insurance companies, research institutes and press agencies. Weather related disasters are grouped under three categories or perils; meteorological events (various types of storms), hydrological events (floods and mass movements), and climatological events (extreme temperature, drought and forest fire).
Disasters are defined as “a situation or event that overwhelms local capacity, necessitating a request at the national or international level for external assistance; an unforeseen and often sudden event that causes great damage, destruction and human suffering”. For a disaster to be entered into the database, at least one of the following criteria must be fulfilled: 10 or more people reported killed; 100 or more people reported affected; declaration of a state of emergency; or, call for international assistance.
The increase in the number of climatological disasters at 45 compared with the 2005-2014 annual average of 32 is an increase of 41%. The number of meteorological disasters (127) was in line with its decadal average (125) and the number of hydrological disasters (175) was 9% below the 2005-2014 annual average of 192. Extreme temperature heat waves in France between June and August (3,275 deaths), in India in May (2,248 deaths) and in Pakistan in June (1,229 deaths) are examples of large climatological disasters in 2015.
Annual Disaster Statistical Review The Annual Review has been published annually for the past 40 years by Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) at the School of Public Health, Université catholique de Louvain.
Annual Statistics published by the NatCatSERVICE of Munich RE provides data from the global insurance industry including natural hazard event losses of property and infrastructure as well as fatalities.