Romania Among Countries Least Safe From Extreme Weather

Publish date: 17-06-2009
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Romania is among the world's countries most threatened by sudden onset hazard, according to the Mortality Risk Index, a Global Platform for Disaster Reduction (DRR) statement said Tuesday.

The information is drawn from a new Mortality Risk Index (MRI) to be outlined at the conference attended by some 1,800 participants comprising Government leaders and risk reduction specialists from around the world, representing more than 300 governments and regional/national DRR organizations.

Predictably, four large population countries - Bangladesh, China, India and Indonesia - occupy the 'extreme' category for average numbers of citizens at risk, followed by Colombia, Myanmar and Pakistan ('major') with the next listing ('very high') including: Afghanistan, Algeria, Congo (DR), Guatemala, Iran, Japan, Peru, Philippines, Romania and Uzbekistan.

Bahrain, like a number of the Gulf States is, for now, among the safest places on Earth from sudden onset hazard among a grouping which includes Denmark, Estonia, Greenland, Latvia, Qatar, Seychelles and the United Arab Emirates. However, when the risk relative to population is analyzed, a different scenario emerges and territories topping the scale are: Colombia, Comoros, Dominica, Guatemala, Myanmar and Vanuatu. Significantly various small island states - Fiji, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Sao Tome and Principe, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia - feature prominently in the subsequent ('high') category.

The MRI itself is the product of a massive database which underpins the Global Assessment Report: Risk and Poverty in a Changing Climate, a landmark document launched in Bahrain last month by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In essence, it lists some 200 countries and territories within 10 sudden onset risk categories, ranging from extreme (six territories) through to negligible (11). The categories with the highest number of entries are 'medium' and 'medium low' with a combined total of 118 - more than half the listing.

Using the Index, it is also possible to identify multi/combined, relative and absolute risk by territory, covering four sudden onset hazards which form the bulk of natural hazard events - tropical cyclones, earthquakes, floods and landslides.


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