Georeferencing the footprint of natural disasters
The Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) contains data about the occurrence and impact of natural and technological disasters that have taken place since 1900. The database supports humanitarian action at national and international levels, helps decision makers with disaster preparedness and provides an objective base for vulnerability assessments and priority setting.
Measuring disasters’ impact is as important as it is challenging and requires innovative thinking. In 2014, EMDAT launched an effort to enhance its contents by geocoding natural disasters from 2000 onwards; therefore, developing the potential for spatial data to support epidemiological analyses.
The EM-DAT team has now georeferenced the main types of natural disasters including: earthquakes, volcanic activities, mass movements (dry), floods, landslides, storms, extreme temperatures, droughts and wildfires in the world from 2000 to 2015, adding up to over 5,900 disasters. Over that period, around 3.2 billion people were affected and 1.2 million deaths were reported, with the economic losses amounting to $2.06 trillion USD.