TABLE D.1 Types of Natural Hazards Recorded by International Dataset

CRED EM-DAT Dartmouth Flood Observatory Database GAR GLIDE
Drought Dam release + heavy rain Drought Drought
Earthquake (seismic activity) Dam/Levy, break or release Cold wave Cold wave
Epidemic Monsoon rain Avalanche Earthquake
Extreme temperature Torrential rain Earthquake Epidemic
Flood Tropical cyclone Fire Extreme temperature
Insect infestation Tropical storm Flood Flash flood
Mass movement Dry Rain and snowmelt Forest fire Flood
Mass movement Wet Snowmelt Frost Heat wave
Storm Tidal surge Hailstorm Landslide
Wildfire Heat wave Mudslide
    Landslide Severe local storm
    Liquefaction SLIDE (use LS/ AV/MS instead)
    Rains Snow avalanche
    Snowstorm Tornadoes
    Storm Tropical cyclone
    Strong wind Tsunami
    Thunderstorm Volcano
      wave/surge(use TS/SS instead)

numbers are used by disaster-related organizations worldwide (example.g., CRED). A strength of the GLIDE system is that it differentiates among many types of hazards (Table D.1). One weakness is that it does not provide consistent comments on damages or separate losses of life, livelihoods, and property into separate data fields. The GLIDE data do not indicate increasing disaster frequency over the past decade; however, they do support other observations about the relative high frequency of flood and storm events.

Munich RE NATHAN Database

The Munich RE NATHAN Database is a proprietary database used for insurance, investment and strategic planning purposes.5 Its historical archive includes 28,000 datasets with increasingly comprehensive coverage after 1980. Its annual map of losses in 2010 indicates that a large proportion of hazards in South Asia have been meteorological or hydrological events. Although some NATHAN data are publically accessible, some detailed NATHAN data are not publically available and were therefore not used extensively in this report.


The U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs maintains a comprehensive portal for humanitarian concerns worldwide called ReliefWeb.6 As of August 19, 2011, Afghanistan had the largest number of “Updates” in the region. Most of Afghanistan’s entries are conflict related, for which it ranks first worldwide with 27,231 Updates, followed by Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pakistan also has a high number of updates for both natural disasters and complex emergencies. In 2010, ReliefWeb reported the following number of humanitarian entries for the countries in the study area: Afghanistan, 27,674; Bangladesh, 4,838; Bhutan, 159; India, 10,201; Nepal, 6,089; and Pakistan, 17,120.

Dartmouth Flood Observatory Database and
Flood Remote Sensing Databases

The Dartmouth Flood Observatory Database,7 now hosted at the University of Colorado, Boulder, has compiled and mapped major flood events worldwide since 1985. Other agency websites provide detailed remotely sensed flood imagery, for example, the Global Flood Detection System,8 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Operational Significant Event Imagery,9 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM,10 the CREST,11 site, and others. As these


5 See

6 See


9 See

10 See

11 See

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement