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Monday, 15 October 2012

Vulnerability to natural disasters quantified

Countries most vulnerable to natural disasters are not necessarily the ones facing the most environmental degradation, a new report finds. According to WorldRiskReport 2012, prepared by the UN University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and released on 11 October, the risk of any given country depends on the economic, social and institutional conditions of its society. The report ranks the risk of 173 countries based on an index that quantifies structural susceptibility, coping capacity and adaptation capacity along with exposure to natural hazards.
Areas especially vulnerable include Oceania, Southeast Asia, and especially Central America and the Caribbean. The South Pacific island of Vanuatu ranked the most at-risk, while Qatar ranked the least. Of the EU member states, the Netherlands is the most vulnerable, ranking No. 51 overall. UNU-EHS director Jakob Rhyner emphasized that the rankings should not be seen as an instrument of reproach but one of public awareness and support.

Source: New Europe