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Hurricanes, Typhoons and Floods: Recurring Disasters in 2012

post-Hurricane Sandy damage in Queens

Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, typhoons in the Philippines, and floods in Pakistan are striking recent examples of recurring natural disasters. Leading up to our event on April 22 (Earth Day), I'll continue to share with you some additional interesting findings from my annual disasters review with Daniel Petz and Chareen Stark.

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After reviewing natural disasters in 2012, I was struck by the fact the several of the largest disasters of that year were preceded by similar events in 2011. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy followed on the heels of Irene on the U.S. East Coast; another destructive typhoon wreaked havoc in the southern Philippines, and Pakistan was hit by floods for a third consecutive year.

These recurring disasters were significant in terms of lives lost and numbers of people displaced...

Casualties and people displaced by Typhoon Bopha/Pablo and Tropical Storm Washi

... in terms of economic cost...

Economic cost of Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene

... and due to the sheer numbers of people who were impacted.

People impacted by Pakistan Floods

Recurring disasters undermine the resilience of affected individuals and communities, and call for long-term solutions that address livelihood issues and the welfare of those displaced.  In addition, these disasters highlight the need for increased commitment to, and investment in, disaster risk reduction.

Implementing sound disaster (and displacement) policies can go a long way in mitigating the effects of recurring disasters, and in fostering the development of more resilient societies.

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