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International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2022: why early warning systems are needed

October 13 is International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – Around the world, half of the countries do not have early warning systems against natural and climate disasters. Mechanisms and procedures are essential to reduce the impact of the climate crisis. “Extreme weather events will occur. But they do not need to become deadly disasters“, says UN Secretary Antonio Guterres, in a message published today on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2022.

The numbers of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2022

Paying the highest bill are mainly the countries most vulnerable to climate change that fall into the categories of Least Developed Countries (LDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Less than half of the LDCs and just one-third of the SIDS have an early warning system that monitors more than one type of natural and climate disaster. This is the alarm launched today by UNDDR with a report published on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2022, the goal of this UN agency. These countries, between 2015 and 2021 have suffered more than 11% of losses and damages worldwide, even if they weigh only a little more than 2% of global GDP.

Read also Environmental and climate disasters have already caused 4,300 deaths this year

But natural disasters, which are often intensified and made more deadly by climate change, also claim many victims in other countries. In the same period, the UNDRR estimates, the deaths were 300,000. Beyond the deaths, the people who have suffered some kind of impact from climate disasters are over 1 billion in 145 different countries in the last 7 years. If we compare these figures with those of the previous nine years (2005-2014), we see that as the number of deaths per 100 thousand inhabitants decreases, the number of those affected by disasters doubles.

To overcome this situation, the UN focuses on multi-risk early warning systems, because they face several dangers that “can occur on their own, at the same time or in cascades”, explains UNDRR in a note. “As climate change causes more frequent, extreme and unpredictable weather events, it is more urgent than ever to invest in early warning systems that address multiple risks. This is because it is necessary to warn not only of the initial impact of disasters, but also of the second and third-order effects. Among the examples, the liquefaction of the soil following an earthquake or landslide and the onset of diseases as a result of heavy rains”, concludes the agency.

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