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UNISDR Reports on Decreasing Flood Mortality, Increasing Economic Losses in Asia

11 December 2012: The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)'s early assessment of disaster trends across Asia for 2012 shows that flood event mortality has declined, but economic losses remained significant. Asia is the most disaster-prone region in the world, with 36% of worldwide reported disasters occurring there from 2000-2011.

According to UNISDR, floods were the most common and economically significant type of disaster in Asia in 2012, responsible for 54% of the death toll and 56% of economic damages, which totaled US$ 15.1 billion. This represented a relative reduction in the number of people killed by disasters in the region, but the UNISDR notes that economic losses continued to rise.

Jerry Velasquez, Head of the UNISDR Asia Pacific office, called for more systematic and integrated approaches to managing flood risks in order to ensure sustainable economic growth. Vinod Thomas, Director General of Independent Evaluation at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), highlighted the need for preventative actions against disasters to ensure that sustainable development is not blocked or interrupted by natural calamities, especially those resulting from climate change. [Publication: Disasters in Numbers in Asia] [UNISDR Press Release]