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Disaster Risk Reduction

Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster prone region in the world. A person living in the region is almost twice as likely to be affected by a disaster as a person living in Africa, almost six times as likely compared with Latin America and the Caribbean, and 30 times more likely than a person living in North America or Europe. In 2015 alone, 160 disasters were reported in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for 47 per cent of the world’s 344 disasters, and these caused over US $45 billion in damages. Rapid economic growth and population expansion over the coming decades, along with the impacts of climate change, will increase the exposure and vulnerability of the region to disasters. As disasters disrupt all sectors of the economy and destroy hard-earned development gains, it is crucial that effective disaster risk reduction measures are integrated into development plans and poverty reduction strategies.

 

Protecting the most vulnerable to cascading risks from climate extremes and the COVID-19 in South Asia

South Asia is at a crossroad of the cascading risks emanating from the rapid spread of the Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) and climate extremes in monsoon months. Every year, people in the subregion suffer from various climate hazards such as floods, droughts, tropical cyclones and heat waves. This is likely to continue this year in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

SEASONAL OUTLOOK TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT BASED FORCASTING

Impact-based forecasting signals an evolution from “what the weather will be” to “what the weather will do” and thus bridges the gaps between national weather services and the end users such as disaster risk management and development sector communities. It is a user-friendly way of communicating the climate risk information to support risk-informed and strategic decision-making for enhanced preparedness and in-season policy interventions.

Scenario-based risk analytics for managing cascading disasters

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that biological and natural hazards intersect with each other and increase the complexity of overall disaster impacts on populations and economies. But disaster management and risk analytics have been slow to capture the intersections of natural and biological hazards or capture the dimensions of interconnectedness and cascading effects to the social, economic, and environmental ecosystems.

Applying subseasonal-to-seasonal predictions to improve disaster risk reduction in South-East Asia

Strategies for managing disaster risk currently rely on weather forecasts (daily to 10 days) and seasonal predictions (three to six months). Until recently, the subseasonal scale (defined as timescale from two weeks to two months) has been considered a "predictability desert" because it has not been possible to provide accurate predictions for this timescale. As a result, many preparedness activities are held off until short-range weather forecasts indicate that a hazard is imminent and the exact location is known, so that resources are not wasted in the case of a false alarm.

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Overview map of latest disaster alerts

© 2016 United Nations / European Union. Map of disaster alerts in the past 4 days. Last 24 hours events are highlighted in yellow. Small earthquakes are shown as green boxes. Retrieved from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.