A Region at Risk
The Asia Pacific faces the highest risk for natural disasters of all regions on the planet. Dissected by massive fault lines and surrounded by vast expanses of ocean, the countries of the Asia Pacific have withstood earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tropical storms, floods and droughts. In fact, people in the Asia Pacific are four times more likely to be affected by natural disasters than those in Africa and 25 times more at risk than those in North America and Europe, according to the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. In recent decades, natural disasters have also taken the greatest economic and human toll in the Asia Pacific. From 2000 to 2008, for example, the region suffered 42 percent of the economic losses and held about 86 percent of the population affected by disasters worldwide. This graphic explores the risks the region faces.