NATURAL DISASTERS IN 2012
After an intense year of natural disasters in 2011, countries in the Asia-Pacific region welcomed a reduction in the number of events in 2012. OCHA and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters recorded 93 natural disaster events in 2012, in which over 3,200 people were killed and more than 75 million people were affected. China and the Philippines experienced the most disasters in 2012.
The number of people killed by disasters was eight times higher in 2011 than in 2012, mainly due to the Japan tsunami, which killed nearly 20,000 people. The number of people affected by natural disasters in 2011 was more than twice the number in 2012. Flooding in China affected some 90 million people in 2011.
Data analysis on the humanitarian impact of disasters in the Asia-Pacific region over the past 12 years shows that 2012 was a slightly below-average year, while 2011 was slightly above average. However, the number and scale of disasters during this period show no clear upward or downward trend.
In 2012, 33 per cent of the region’s disasters were floods (not including flash floods), while 30 per cent were tropical cyclones. Together, these two types of disasters were responsible for 80 per cent of people affected by disaster and 80 per cent of people killed. Of the nine disasters that prompted the deployment of international humanitarian tools and services (e.g. OCHA situation reports, CERF, UNDAC), five were floods and four were tropical cyclones. Flooding and storms were the most common and destructive disasters in the Asia-Pacific region between 2000 and 2012, with the exception being those years when large seismic events, such as the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Wenchuan earthquake and the Japan tsunami, caused large numbers of deaths.