Countries are better protected from disasters

A study has shown that many countries have become more protected from natural disasters ranging from hurricanes to earthquakes due to better preparedness, but the Pacific island nations are still the most vulnerable.

According to a report published on the sidelines of the United Nations climate change talks in Germany published on Tuesday, climate change increases the risks because it increases the number of heavy rains, storms or heat waves.

But Peter Mocke, director of the Global Risk Report and head of a coalition of German aid agencies, said: “The risk of being affected by severe natural disasters has declined on a global scale.”

“Many countries are learning from past disasters and improving disaster preparedness,” he said of the findings of the annual report, published in cooperation with the United Nations University and other groups.

The report assesses the potential for a severe natural phenomenon to lead to disaster in 171 countries between 2012 and 2016. He made a list of countries most vulnerable to risk, including Vanuatu, Tonga, the Philippines, Guatemala, Bangladesh, the Solomon Islands and Costa Rica.

Fiji, which is chairing a meeting in Bonn, Germany, from November 6-17 to discuss ways to strengthen the Paris Agreement on climate change, ranked 15th among the countries most at risk. Europe as a region is the least vulnerable region in the world.

The report said there are many ways to make communities less vulnerable to disaster risk, from erecting cyclone shelters to erecting barriers to prevent river flooding.

“Mangroves can reduce flood risks to people and property,” said Michael Beck of the Nature Conservancy.

The report assesses the risks posed by phenomena such as storms, earthquakes and tsunamis.

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