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Asia-Pacific prone to natural disasters

Oct. 27, 2010 at 8:40 AM   |   Comments

INCHEON, South Korea, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- More deaths occur from natural disasters in Asia and the Pacific than any other place in the world, a U.N. report released in South Korea found.

A report from the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the first of its kind, found the region is prone to natural disasters. Many countries in the region, however, aren't prepared for emergencies.

The report found that countries in Asia and the Pacific are 25 times more likely to suffer from a natural disaster than their North American or European counterparts. More than 85 percent of the deaths and 42 percent of the subsequent economic loss from natural disasters occur in the region, the 156-page report found.

The report found that losses incurred during natural disasters are linked to and aggravated by poor socio-economic conditions in the region.

ESCAP Executive Secretary Noeleen Heyzer said the problem would continue unless economic vulnerabilities were addressed.

"Unless these imbalances are addressed, people who are constantly exposed to disaster risk are more likely to remain poor and more vulnerable to disasters, perpetuating a vicious cycle from which it is extremely difficult to break free," she said in a statement.

Topics: Asia Pacific
© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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