Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1149-1159, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
17 Jul 2009
Assessing global exposure and vulnerability towards natural hazards: the Disaster Risk Index
P. Peduzzi2,1, H. Dao3, C. Herold1, and F. Mouton4 1UNEP/GRID-Europe, Geneva, Switzerland
2Institute of Geomatics and Analysis of Risk (IGAR), University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
3Department of Geography, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
4UFR de Mathématiques, Université J. Fourier, Grenoble, France
Abstract. This paper presents a model of factors influencing levels of human losses from natural hazards at the global scale, for the period 1980–2000. This model was designed for the United Nations Development Programme as a building stone of the Disaster Risk Index (DRI), which aims at monitoring the evolution of risk. Assessing what countries are most at risk requires considering various types of hazards, such as droughts, floods, cyclones and earthquakes. Before assessing risk, these four hazards were modelled using GIS and overlaid with a model of population distribution in order to extract human exposure. Human vulnerability was measured by crossing exposure with selected socio-economic parameters. The model evaluates to what extent observed past losses are related to population exposure and vulnerability. Results reveal that human vulnerability is mostly linked with country development level and environmental quality. A classification of countries is provided, as well as recommendations on data improvement for future use of the model.

Citation: Peduzzi, P., Dao, H., Herold, C., and Mouton, F.: Assessing global exposure and vulnerability towards natural hazards: the Disaster Risk Index, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1149-1159,, 2009.
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