Natural disaster victims (i64)

In 2020, there were 12.6 natural disaster victims per 100,000 persons in Belgium. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, the average over the period 2020-2030 should be lower than 1.97. Due to the erratic nature of natural disasters, it is impossible to determine a trend. It is therefore impossible to assess the evolution of the number of natural disaster victims.

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Natural disaster victims - Belgium - trend assessment

number per 100,000 persons

 20002005201020152019202020252030
observations0.002.026.363.646.2212.65----
objective: maximum 2020-2030 average (data 10/06/2021)1.971.971.971.971.971.971.971.97

Guha-Sapir D., Below R., Hoyois P. (2021), EM-DAT: The CRED/OFDA International Disaster Database, https://www.emdat.be/, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium; and Eurostat (2021), Population on 1 July [demo_gind], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 10/06/2021).

Natural disaster victims - Belgium

number per 100,000 persons

 1990200020052010201520192020
Belgium0.160.002.026.363.646.2212.65

Guha-Sapir D., Below R., Hoyois P. (2021), EM-DAT: The CRED/OFDA International Disaster Database, https://www.emdat.be/, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium (consulted on 03/06/2022); and Eurostat (2021), Population on 1 July [demo_gind], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 01/10/2021).

Natural disaster victims - EU27

number per 100,000 persons

 1990200020052010201520192020
EU271 433.6629.0215.70140.992.1836.5556.84

belonging to the European continent

Guha-Sapir D., Below R., Hoyois P. (2021), EM-DAT: The CRED/OFDA International Disaster Database, https://www.emdat.be/, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium (consulted on 03/06/2022); and Eurostat (2021), Population on 1 July [demo_gind], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 01/10/2021).

Definition: the victims of natural disasters include the dead, the missing and people affected by natural disasters. The number of missing persons includes the number of persons missing since the disaster occurred and presumed dead on the basis of official data. The number of total people affected includes the number of people injured (suffering from physical injury, trauma or disease and who require immediate medical assistance as a direct result of the disaster), the homeless (people whose homes are destroyed or severely damaged and who need shelter following the disaster) and people who need help during an emergency situation. The indicator is expressed in number of victims per 100,000 inhabitants and is calculated by the FPB using the EM-DAT database from UCLouvain (www.emdat.be) and the population data from Eurostat.

The following types of natural disasters are covered by this indicator.

  • Geophysical: volcanic activity (ash fall, lahar or volcanic mudflow, pyroclastic flow, lava flow), mass movement (rockfall, landslide, avalanche, subsidence from geophysical origin) and earthquake (ground movement, tsunami).

  • Meteorological: extreme temperature, storm and fog.

  • Hydrological: landslide (from hydrological origin) and flood.

  • Climatological: wildfire and drought.

Natural disasters belonging to the (sub)groups "biological" (including epidemic, insect infestation and animal accident) and "extra-terrestrial" (impact caused by asteroids or comets) are not taken into account.

The EM-DAT database is continuously improved and expanded, in particular with the aim of improving the data about heat waves (for example adding to the data presented here, the number of people hospitalized following a heat wave), epidemics and economic damage. EM-DAT data for the EU27 do not cover areas that are part of an EU Member State but do not belong to the European continent (DOM-TOM for example). The population data come from Eurostat and correspond to the data as at 1 July each year.

Goal: the average annual rate of disaster victims must be less than 1.97 victims per 100,000 inhabitants during the decade 2020-2030.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 13.1: "Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries".

Besides target 13.1, the SDGs also include the following targets: "By 2030 build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations, and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters” (target 1.5) "By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations” (target 11.5).

In the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction seven goals were set to reduce the risk of disasters and the losses they cause (UN, 2015). It was agreed to reduce the number of victims of catastrophes by 2030 so that the average number of victims per 100,000 inhabitants over the 2020-2030 period is lower than the average number observed over the 2005-2015 period. On the basis of the data presented here, the average rate of this indicator over the 2005-2015 reference period was 1.97 victims per 100,000 inhabitants. Under the direction of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk reduction, created in 1999, the Sendai Framework also began a process to make available data on disaster victim statistics and losses.

International comparison: in 2020, there were 56.8 victims of natural disasters per 100,000 inhabitants in the EU27. In 2019 this data was 36,6. Compared to the EU27, Belgium has significantly fewer victims of natural disasters per 100,000 inhabitants. In the EU27 as well, peak periods and periods with fewer or no victims of natural disasters are observed. The year 1990 was particularly disastrous with 1,434 victims per 100,000 inhabitants in the EU27 due to a draught in Spain, affecting 6 million people. The year 1999 was also disastrous with 913 victims per 100,000 inhabitants in the EU27. This high number can be largely explained by the two strong extratropical storms in France.

UN indicator: the selected indicator corresponds to indicator 13.1.1 - Number of deaths, missing persons and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population. This indicator is also used to monitor the targets in the SDGs No poverty (indicator 1.5.1) and Sustainable cities and communities (indicator 11.5.1).

Sources

  • General

    • SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.

    • Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.

    • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ (consulted on 24/09/2020).

    • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 24/09/2020).
  • Specific

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