How do people die in disasters and what can be done?

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A short paper to support the International Day for Disaster Reduction 2016: “Live to Tell”

During the past 50 years (1966-2015) 20,533 disasters caused an estimated 4.5 million deaths worldwide. Natural hazards caused 62% of these disasters and 38% were human-induced. [1] We are reminded that, sadly, most disasters (and disaster deaths) that could happen have not happened yet. (GAR 2015, p54.)[2] This paper describes disaster mortality and what measures can be taken to reduce the mortality from future hazardous events, including disasters.

Definitions

Disaster-related mortality is defined as those deaths occurring where the immediate or the underlying cause(s) occur as a result of exposure to a natural or human-induced hazard.

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