The number of deaths by natural disasters can be highly variable yearly; some years pass with very few deaths before a significant disaster event( Earthquakes, droughts, floods, landslides, etc.) claim many lives.
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In this visualization, we have shown the long-term global trend in natural disaster deaths. The chart shows the estimated annual number of deaths from 1900 to 2019 caused by natural disasters based on the EM-DAT International Disaster Database.
We see that in many years, the number of deaths can be deficient – often less than 10,000, and estimating as low as 0.01% of total deaths. But we also see the devastating impact of unfortunate shock events: the 1983 to 85 famine and drought in Ethiopia; Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004; 2008’s Cyclone Nargis, which struck Myanmar; and the 2010 Port-au-Prince earthquake in Haiti. These events pushed global disaster deaths to over 200,000 – more than 0.4% of deaths in these years.
High-impact natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis are inevitable. Still, such significant losses of human life are. We note from historical data that the world has seen a considerable reduction in disaster deaths through earlier prediction, more resilient infrastructure, emergency preparation, and response systems.
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