• 24 Jun, 2024

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction: History and significance

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction: History and significance

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is marked on 13 October every year to celebrate how people and communities across the globe are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the significance of reining in the risks that they face.

This day provides an opportunity to acknowledge the progress being made towards the prevention and reduction of disaster risk and losses in economies, lives, livelihoods, and basic infrastructure in accordance with the international agreement for reducing global disaster risk and losses. According to the United Nations, early warning is effective in saving lives during disastrous events. Early warning by 24 hours can reduce the ensuing damage by 30 percent.

The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction was formed in 1989 after a call by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for a day to promote a global culture of disaster reduction and risk-awareness. At the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015 in Sendai, Japan, the international community was reminded that disasters hit hardest at the local level with the potential of causing loss of life and great social and economic disruption.

Millions of people are displaced every year by the sudden onset of disasters every year. Disasters, many of which are worsened by climate change, have adverse effects on investment in sustainable development and the desired outcomes.

Some important facts about disasters:

When it comes to economic damage, the most destructive natural disaster since 1980 was the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, which destroyed much of the Fukushima nuclear plant. The second costliest natural disaster was Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast of the United States in 2005.

From 1980 to July 2022, the deadliest natural disaster in the world was the tsunami caused by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean in December, 2004. It is estimated that over 200,000 lives were lost due to the tsunami. Indonesia was the country which was hit hardest by it.

The second deadliest natural disaster was the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 in this period. The death toll varies between 100,000 and 316,000. Floods make up 44 percent of disasters worldwide.