Mind the risk – A global ranking of cities under threat from natural disasters

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 3, 2013

“For the first time in human history more people live in cities than in rural areas. The United Nations expects 6.3 billion people or 68% of the world’s population to be living in urban areas by 2050, with the highest increase occurring in high growth markets. Many of these cities are located on the coast and are threatened by floods, storms, earthquakes and other natural hazards.The vibrancy of these cities is a key driver for economic development. However, the growing concentration of people, assets and infrastructure also means that the loss potential in urban areas is high and rising. At the same time the gap between economic and insured losses is large because insurance penetration is relatively low and city infrastructure often not insured at all. Another reason is that the risk exposure faced by
the world’s metropolitan areas remains under explored, largely due to the lack of detailed hazard information and poor data quality. This publication seeks to address this knowledge deficit by providing
a comprehensive analysis of natural disaster risk in locations around the world. Based on Swiss Re’s risk modelling expertise and the latest hazard information from our CatNet®tool, it focuses on the most severe natural disasters confronting 616 of the world’s largest urban areas and assesses the potential impact they have on local residents and the wider economy.”

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