Random Notes

Natural disasters more devastating, study reveals

FINDINGS PUBLISHED in the Atlas of the Human Planet 2017, reveal the grim prospect that imperils the human race. Noticeably, according to the researchers, four decades worth of satellite data show that “global exposure to natural disasters has doubled since 1975, largely as a result of population growth and development.” More specifically, it tells the following:

  • Earthquake is the hazard that accounts for the highest number of exposed population. The number of people living in seismic areas has increased by 93% in 40 years (from 1.4 billion in 1975 to 2.7 billion in 2015).
  • In 2015, 414 million people lived near one of the 220 most dangerous volcanoes and could suffer from the consequences of eruptions.
  • Tsunamis affect coastal areas in many regions, but dangerous areas are more concentrated in Asia. Japan has by far the highest amount of built-up surface exposed to tsunamis, followed by China, and the United States of America.
  • Flood, the most frequent natural disaster, potentially affects more people in Asia (76.9% of the global population exposed) and Africa (12.2%) than in other regions. The world population potentially exposed to flood is around 1 billion in 155 countries in 2015. 11% of the area built-up on Earth is potentially exposed to this hazard, too.
  • Cyclone winds pose a threat to 89 countries in the world and exposed population increased from 1 billion in 1975 up to 1.6 billion in 2015, (about 24% of the world population). In 2015, 640 million people are exposed to extremely strong cyclone winds. China is by far the country with the largest number of people potentially exposed to storm surge as consequence of tropical cyclones: 50 million of Chinese people live in coastal areas included in the hazard area and this number increased by a factor of 1.5 in the last 40 years.

From God’s Message Magazine, July 2017

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