Global disaster risks assessed

Aug. 16, 2012 at 5:25 PM   |   Comments

BATH, England, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Emerging economies in Asia face the greatest financial risk from natural disasters such as floods, droughts, earthquakes and storms, British researchers say.

Maplecroft, a British hazard assessment firm, has compiled a Natural Hazard Risk Atlas based on nations' economic activity and exposure to natural hazards.

Key emerging economies were among those most exposed to risks related to natural hazards, and limited ability to recover from disasters can leave them exposed to severe disruption, Maplecroft researchers said.

"China, Mexico, India, Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, Bangladesh and Iran are each heavily exposed to major destructive natural hazards, such as earthquakes, flooding and tropical cyclones," they wrote.

Asian economies in particular, especially those located in the southeast of the continent, are at risk of potentially devastating disasters, Maplecroft Associate Director Helen Hodge said.

"The Pacific Ring of Fire is a belt of seismic risk that draws in Indonesia, Philippines, Japan and Taiwan, etc.," she told BBC News.

"So that exposes these nations to seismic risk, and high risk from earthquakes, but also -- as we saw in Japan -- the secondary risk of tsunamis.

"It is not really one risk in particular but it is the combination of multiple risks that are prominent in the areas," she said.

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