Haiti most at risk from natural disasters

Por Dialogo
julio 12, 2010

Haiti and Mozambique are the nations most at risk economically from natural disasters, according to a ranking that says some rich countries such as Italy and the United States also face high risks.

British-based business consultancy Maplecroft said the index aimed to show the economic impact from 1980 to 2010 of disasters such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, landslides, epidemics, tsunamis and extreme heat and cold.

Haiti, hit by a January 12 earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people, topped the index of about 200 nations. Even without the quake, the Caribbean nation would have ranked near the top because of exposure to hurricanes, it said.

Mozambique, which has suffered severe flooding such as in 2000 when at least 800 people were killed and economic losses totaled more than $400 million, was second ahead of Honduras, Vanuatu, Zimbabwe, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Some industrialized nations were also among those facing high risk — led by Italy in 19th place largely because of earthquakes and a 2003 heatwave, Maplecroft said.

The United States was in 30th place after big economic losses from hurricanes such as Katrina in 2005. China, where the Sichuan earthquake in 2008 killed almost 90,000 people, was in 26th.