by Rukmani Krishna on  August 17, 2012 at 11:48 PM Lifestyle News
 Among Top 10 Nations at Risk of Natural Disasters Is India
At maximum risk of being devastated by earthquakes, floods, storms and other natural hazards are Asian countries.

In an assessment of 197 countries, six Asian countries featured in the list of top 10 places in the world, which were most vulnerable to such catastrophes.

The study was carried out by British risk consultancy 'Maplecroft'.

The list was headed by Bangladesh and the Philippines, which along with Burma are considered to be at "extreme" risk, the Herald Sun reported.

Only one other country, the Caribbean state of Dominican Republic, falls into this category, and was ranked third overall.

Other countries, which appeared in the top 10 were, India, Vietnam, Honduras, Laos, Haiti and Nicaragua.

The "Nature Hazards Risk Atlas", which assesses the impact of natural disasters on a country relative to its economy, analyses it's preparedness to deal with such events and social ability to rebound.

If a country's infrastructure is weak and its governance is poor, the damages to the economy will be much greater.

The report observed the economic consequences of drought in India, which this year is likely to shave 0.5 percent off the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

The research's other benchmark is the 'absolute exposure' to natural hazards, meaning the total bill from a disaster.

By the "absolute" yardstick, the countries that face the biggest tabs when natural disasters occur are Japan, the United States, China, Taiwan and Mexico.

However, they have greater muscle and stronger institutional means to cope, and this mitigates the damage to their economy.

"As the global influence of emerging economies increases, the importance of their inherent natural hazard exposure will have wider and deeper global implications," Maplecroft analyst Helen Hodge said.

"The test for emerging and developing economies is to build a stronger capacity to meet the challenge of hazard-prone environments. Failure to do so will risk their ambitious economic growth when the inevitable natural hazards strike," she added.

Source: ANI

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