With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India is the world’s largest democracy. Over the past decade, the country’s integration into the global economy has been accompanied by economic growth. India has now emerged as a global player.
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The past decade has seen many major natural disasters across South Asia: the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, 2007 cyclone in Bangladesh, and recent flooding in India. Among... Show More + many other such events, they demonstrate how subject South Asia and its people are to natural disasters. Coupled with this geographic vulnerability are rising population density and low levels of development, which is potentially devastating for human life and property.What are the disaster risks and challenges for South Asia? Relative to economic size, flood losses are about 15 times greater than in industrialized countries. South Asia is at particular risk of damage from disasters, lying above the most active continental plates, its coastline in the path of cyclones, and its rivers subject to flooding from the yearly monsoon. Since 1971, there have been over 1,000 disasters in the region, at increasing frequency per year on average. It already has 65 cities with populations over a Show Less -
When the World Bank first teamed up with the European Space Agency to demonstrate how Earth observation can work for international development, a small climate change adaptation project on the coast of... Show More + North Africa produced the first big results. High above Tunis, three orbiting ESA satellites sent down data pinpointing parts of the Tunisian capital where land was sinking, undermining the city’s ability to withstand storms, earthquakes and extreme weather. “The results from the satellite data were stunning,” said Sameh Wahba, manager of the Bank’s Urban Development and Resilience unit, which spearheaded the program. “They were quick, cost-effective and technically sound. They gave us visually impressive products that easily communicated the magnitude of the problem to our counterparts in government. As a result, the government immediately incorporated smart risk mitigation policies into the city’s adaptation and resilience plans.”In the five years since the eoworld co Show Less -
Who is most at risk?The new study, part of an ongoing OECD project, examined maps and databases of population and world assets, flood-prone regions, storm frequency data, and cost of damage models for... Show More + 136 large coastal cities. For the first time, it took into account existing coastal defenses and their level of protection.In terms of the overall cost of damage, the cities at the greatest risk are: 1) Guangzhou, 2) Miami, 3) New York, 4) New Orleans, 5) Mumbai, 6) Nagoya, 7) Tampa, 8) Boston, 9) Shenzen, and 10) Osaka. The top four cities alone account for 43% of the forecast total global losses.However, developing-country cities move up the list when flood costs are measured as a percentage of city gross domestic product (GDP). Many of them are growing rapidly, have large populations, are poor, and are exposed to tropical storms and sinking land. The study lists the 10 most vulnerable cities when measured as percentage of GDP as: 1) Guangzhou; 2) New Orleans; 3) Guayaquil, Ec Show Less -
SEOUL, Korea, October 28, 2010 — Take a chilling statistic: Ninety percent of all earthquake fatalities worldwide since 1960, over 1,100,000 people, have been Asians. Even at this writing, all major news... Show More + networks are reporting a magnitude 7.5 quake off Padang in Sumatra, Indonesia. Ironically, Professor Tso-Chien Pan, Director of the Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, predicted a major quake in this region the night before at a World Bank GDLN regional conference from Seoul titled, “It’s Not too Late: Preparing for Asia’s Next Big Earthquake”.Experts know where, but not yet when, the next killer quake in Asia might strike. Some Asian megacities lying close to tectonic fault lines are showing increasing seismic activity—Manila, Jakarta, Penang, Tokyo-Kobe. And yet, few countries in the region, with the exception of Japan and New Zealand, have a proper earthquake mitigation program. Asia’s historic vulnerability to killer quakes is made Show Less -