Asian Disaster Reduction Center(ADRC)
Natural Disasters Data Book
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Natural Disasters Data Book 2021


ADRC publishes the Natural Disaster Databook annually to provide statistical and analytical perspectives of natural disaster data. ADRC retrieves data from the Emergency Event Database (EM-DAT) in order to better understand the occurrence, deaths, people affected, and economic losses from disaster events (Annex 1: Notes on the Sources of Data). This analytical overview, presented in graphs with explanations, is divided into three key sections:

• In the first section, natural disaster data of 2021 is compared with the annual average data of 1991-2020 both at the Global level and at the regional level (Asia)

• In the second section, climate-related disaster data of 2021 is compared with the annual average data of 1991-2020 both at the Global level and at the regional level (Asia)

• In the third section, COVID-19 situations at the global level and in the ADRC member countries are presented to show the cumulative data of confirmed cases and deaths

Regarding natural disasters in general, the number of occurrences has significantly increased during the last 30 years (1991-2020). This increasing trend is observed globally and in the Asian region. In 2021, the total of disaster occurrences was 436, which is higher than the annual average of 376 during the last 30 years. Flood and storm have consistently shown the highest frequency of occurrence and subsequently with the highest amounts of economic losses. Although the frequency of disaster occurrences has been increasing, the number of deaths from disasters is decreasing. Existing data shows that deaths from disasters in 2021 is 14,442. This is lesser compared to the annual average of 61,086 during the past 30 years (1991-2020). Two implications can be highlighted about this data. On one hand, it could indicate that the disaster risk management (DRM) systems have improved. On the other hand, it could imply that lower deaths in 2021 is simply due to the absence of mass casualty eventts similar to the Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004) or the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011). In 2021, economic losses from disasters continued to show an increasing trend, and this is hugely concentrated in the high-income or developed countries, such as the United States or Japan. Asia remains to be the most disaster-prone region in the world such that in 2021, the region recorded the highest number of disaster occurrences, particularly in Indonesia (28), India (19), China (17), and the Philippines (14).

Regarding climate-related disasters, the data shows an increasing trend during the last 30 years, and its impacts are becoming more destructive. In 2021 alone, extreme cold waves (e.g., France in April) and heat waves (e.g., Canada in July) were recorded in many parts of the world. Climate-related disasters, particularly flood, storm, and drought, account for the highest number of people affected as well as economic losses in 2021 – a continuing trend since the last 30 years. With regard to climate-related disasters in Asia in 2021, aside from heat wave, India was severely impacted by floods and cyclones affecting more than 18 million people. Bangladesh and Nepal were hit by floods that impacted millions of people. Floods affected 14 million people in China and over 1 million people in Indonesia. Furthermore, drought has been affecting millions of people during the past 30 years, and it incurred economic losses affecting more than 28 million people in Asia in 2021 alone.

Regarding COVID-19 situation, the data shows declining trends both in the number of cases and the number of deaths globally. The peak was in January 2022 when 23,201,079 cases were recorded during the winter at northern hemisphere. COVID-19 cases and deaths in ADRC member countries also showed a declining trend. Factors contributing to the decline could be attributed to increasing rate of vaccination, weaker strain of the virus, and improvement in the medical system for handing COVID-19 cases.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Natural Disaster Data
2.1. Global Disaster Data
2.2. Asian Disaster Data

3. Climate Related Disasters
3.1. Global trend in climate-related disasters
3.2. Asian trend in climate-related disasters

4. COVID-19 Data
4.1. Global Situation
4.2. COVID-19 Situation in ADRC Member Countries