Why is Vanuatu the Most Dangerous Country in the World?


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Vanuatu is the most dangerous country to live in this world due to its various highly destructive natural disasters. Four years in a row, the United Nation University Risk Index named it as the world’s most at-risk country for natural hazards. The risk for disaster does not only include storms and earthquakes, but also volcanoes or tsunamis. Name any natural calamity and Vanuatu has it.

In a country of roughly 250,000 people, earthquakes place on average 90,000 per year at risk. The three major disasters that normally hit Vanuatu every year as shown in the table below are cyclones, earthquakes, and tsunamis. It also showed that Vanuatu ranked first in terms on the cost of natural disasters or estimated average annual loss in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Image result for Infographics on Vanuatu's disasters

Photo Credit: World Bank as cited in Economist.com

For four years running, Vanuatu has been ranked the world’s most disaster-prone country in an annual World Risk Report released by the World Bank which is  published by the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).

Strong cyclones or typhoon are the most common and destructive disasters in Vanuatu. Sixty percent (60%) of Vanuatu’s inhabitants are exposed to natural hazards every year. When a storm hits this tiny country, the entire land is affected, including the capital.

Vanuatu destruction caused by Cylone Pam

As shown in the table below, the country’s ranking of 32 percentage points in terms of risk places the little state ahead of the second place Tonga and well ahead of the third place the Philippines (24.32), as well as Solomon Islands (23.51),  Guatemala (20.88). The complete report also placed Germany and Qatar as countries which are free from riks from natural disasters. We can notice that almost all countries in the list, except Brunei, are poor, developing, or underdeveloped countries.  The only industrialized world’s most at-risk nation (17th place) is Japan with 13 percentage points.

Image result for UN risk index report 2017 infographics on Vanuatu

The worst cyclone or storm that hit Vanuatu in recent memory is Cyclone Pam. Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu late on March 13, 2015 packing wind gusts of up to 320 kilometers (200 miles) an hour, causing widespread damage in the archipelago nation in the South Pacific Ocean. This “monster” storm killed dozens, destroyed or damaged 90 percent of the buildings in the capital, and forced the nation to start anew.

Image result for Infographics on Vanuatu's disasters

Photo Credit: worldbank.org

References

Dillion, C. (17 March 2015) Exposed: Why Vanuatu is the world’s most ‘at-risk’ country for natural hazards. Retrieved from http://www.dw.com/en/exposed-why-vanuatu-is-the-worlds-most-at-risk-country-for-natural-hazards/a-18319825.

Taylor, A. (17 March 2015). Category 5 Cyclone Pam Devastates Vanuatu. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2015/03/cyclone-pam-devastates-vanuatu/388024/.

Why is Vanuatu the Most Dangerous Country in the World?


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Vanuatu is the most dangerous country to live in this world due to its various highly destructive natural disasters. Four years in a row, the United Nation University Risk Index named it as the world’s most at-risk country for natural hazards. The risk for disaster does not only include storms and earthquakes, but also volcanoes or tsunamis. Name any natural calamity and Vanuatu has it.

In a country of roughly 250,000 people, earthquakes place on average 90,000 per year at risk. The three major disasters that normally hit Vanuatu every year as shown in the table below are cyclones, earthquakes, and tsunamis. It also showed that Vanuatu ranked first in terms on the cost of natural disasters or estimated average annual loss in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Image result for Infographics on Vanuatu's disasters

Photo Credit: World Bank as cited in Economist.com

For four years running, Vanuatu has been ranked the world’s most disaster-prone country in an annual World Risk Report released by the World Bank which is  published by the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).

Strong cyclones or typhoon are the most common and destructive disasters in Vanuatu. Sixty percent (60%) of Vanuatu’s inhabitants are exposed to natural hazards every year. When a storm hits this tiny country, the entire land is affected, including the capital.

Vanuatu destruction caused by Cylone Pam

As shown in the table below, the country’s ranking of 32 percentage points in terms of risk places the little state ahead of the second place Tonga and well ahead of the third place the Philippines (24.32), as well as Solomon Islands (23.51),  Guatemala (20.88). The complete report also placed Germany and Qatar as countries which are free from riks from natural disasters. We can notice that almost all countries in the list, except Brunei, are poor, developing, or underdeveloped countries.  The only industrialized world’s most at-risk nation (17th place) is Japan with 13 percentage points.

Image result for UN risk index report 2017 infographics on Vanuatu

The worst cyclone or storm that hit Vanuatu in recent memory is Cyclone Pam. Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu late on March 13, 2015 packing wind gusts of up to 320 kilometers (200 miles) an hour, causing widespread damage in the archipelago nation in the South Pacific Ocean. This “monster” storm killed dozens, destroyed or damaged 90 percent of the buildings in the capital, and forced the nation to start anew.

Image result for Infographics on Vanuatu's disasters

Photo Credit: worldbank.org

References

Dillion, C. (17 March 2015) Exposed: Why Vanuatu is the world’s most ‘at-risk’ country for natural hazards. Retrieved from http://www.dw.com/en/exposed-why-vanuatu-is-the-worlds-most-at-risk-country-for-natural-hazards/a-18319825.

Taylor, A. (17 March 2015). Category 5 Cyclone Pam Devastates Vanuatu. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2015/03/cyclone-pam-devastates-vanuatu/388024/.

Is Your Country Vulnerable to Disasters? See the List of the World Risk Index Report

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The World Risk Index 2016 ranked 171 countries according to how exposed and vulnerable they are to natural hazards, including earthquakes, floods and storms. Topping the list are Vanuatu, Tonga, Philippines, Japan, Costa Rica, Brunei, Mauritius, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Bangladesh. Except Japan and Brunei, one can notice that many in the top 10 are poor and developing countries. Yearly disasters is one reason why these countries experience  underdevelopment and extreme poverty.

Photo source: https://twitter.com/UNEnvironmentAP/status/769001042084147200

World-Risk-Map-Index-Philippines-2016

Source:http://www.wheninmanila.com/philippines-now-3rd-most-disaster-prone-country-according-to-latest-world-risk-index/

The Natural and Social Spheres of Vulnerability to Disasters

Examine the diagram and see the connection between natural disasters and social vulnerability of people to calamities:

world-risk-index-2016-philippines

Source: http://www.wheninmanila.com/philippines-now-3rd-most-disaster-prone-country-according-to-latest-world-risk-index/

Examine the list below and judge whether your country is vulnerable to disasters or not, Rank 1 would mean the the country is the most vulnerable (Vanautu) and Rank 100 (Laos) as the least vulnerable to calamities.

hurricane-63005_640

My country, the Philippines, is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world. It ranked #3 in the list below.

philippines-31013_640

What is the consequences for the Philippines being ranked as one of the most vulnerable countries to disasters according to the report?

"The findings of the study, which was published by scientists from the United Nations University and from development organizations, mean that not only is the Philippines at great risk from natural disasters, but Filipinos are also more vulnerable to these natural hazards than people in most other countries. To put it bluntly: the higher a country is ranked in this index, the greater the chance that its inhabitants will die in a natural disaster, a thought that should be of some concern to local politicians and to everyone else in the Philippines" (http://www.wheninmanila.com/philippines).

How about yours? Do you see your country in the list below? Here is the list of countries in the world which are vulnerable to disasters:

The Top 100 Vulnerable Countries Worldwide

1. Vanuatu
2. Tonga
3. Philippines
4. Guatemala
5. Bangladesh 19.17
6. Solomon Islands
7. Brunei Darussalam
8. Costa Rica
9. Cambodia
10. Papua New Guinea
11. El Salvador
12. Timor-Leste
13. Mauritius
14. Nicaragua
15. Guinea-Bissau
16. Fiji
17. Japan
18. Viet Nam
19. Gambia
20. Jamaica
21. Haiti
22. Chile
23. Benin
24. Guyana
25. Niger
26. Madagascar
27. Dominican Republic
28. Cameroon
29. Chad
30. Honduras
31. Cape Verde
32. Senegal
33. Togo
34. Djibouti
35. Burundi
36. Indonesia
37. Sierra Leone
38. Zimbabwe
39. Burkina Faso
40. Albania
41. Afghanistan
42. Myanmar
43. Cote d’Ivoire
44. Mozambique
45. Uzbekistan
46. Suriname
47. Ghana
48. Mali
49. Netherlands
50. Guinea
51. Sudan
52. Nigeria
53. Malawi
54. Mauritania
55. Kyrgyzstan
56. Liberia
57. United Republic of Tanzania
58. Ecuador
59. Swaziland
60. Bhutan
61. Trinidad and Tobago
62. Algeria
63. Sri Lanka
64. Comoros
65. Panama
66. Zambia
67. Congo
68. Serbia
69. Rwanda
70. Ethiopia
71. Central African Republic
72. Pakistan
73. Lesotho
74. Kenya
75. Tajikistan
76. Greece
77. India
78. Peru
79. Belize
80. Uganda
81. Angola
82. Morocco
83. Colombia
84. Turkmenistan
85. China
86. Malaysia
87. Eritrea
88. Georgia
89. Thailand
90. Cuba
91. Bosnia and Herzegovina
92. Armenia
93. Gabon
94. Yemen
95. Mexico
96. Venezuela
97. Romania
98. Republic of Macedonia
99. Syrian Arab Republic
100. Lao People’s Democ. Republic

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