About 1.5 million (some 54%) of the new displacements in India in 2018 were in Kerala, which was hit by the worst floods in a century. Cyclones Titli and Gaja struck Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (October, November) triggered close to 649,000 displacements.
61.4% the internal displacements in the world due to natural disasters
Natural disasters forced almost 17.2 million people out of their homes across the world in 2018. 94 per cent of them left due to weather-related natural calamities — cyclones, floods, drought.
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80% of the affected people lived in urban and peri-urban areas.
Nearly 1,600 disaster events triggered new displacements during 2018. Among weather-related hazards, storms — especially tropical cyclones — were a majority. Geophysical disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions led to 1.1 million new displacements in 2018, up from 758,000 in 2017 — a 45.12 per cent jump.
Three of four displaced were in Asia
Displacements associated with disasters affected mainly East Asia and Pacific, and South Asia. Both regions are heavily populated and have a high vulnerability to hazards. Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas were relatively lightly affected, but floods and storms still triggered millions of new displacements. 9.6 million new displacements were recorded in East Asia and the Pacific and 3.8 million in South
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The Philippines, China and India between them accounted for around 60 per cent of all new displacements, mostly in the form of evacuations.
60 per cent of the internal displacements occurred in China, India and the Philippines. In these three countries, 10.3 million were displaced by extreme weather events. Such massive movement of people affects economy too. Asia-Pacific’s cumulative economic losses due to natural disasters exceeded $89 billion in 2018 — slightly higher than the 21st century average of $87 billion.
On the rise: Displacement burden on India due to extreme weather events
In just a year, the number of people displaced due to extreme weather events increased by 108 per cent. Undoubtedly, the displacement burden due to extreme weather events in the country has doubled. India is the 14th-most climate-vulnerable country in the world. With 29 per cent increase in deaths from last year due to extreme climate events and the 108 per cent increase in displacements in a year, the burden of displacement and deaths due to such extremes is rising.
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Disasters displaced 2.68 million people, about 2 million of which was associated with the monsoon.
In 2019, India will be much more prone to cyclones and floods, according to the Inform Risk Index. Expect the burden to increase.
✸ Global report on internal displacement (GRID 2019), IDMC, May 2019
✸ Disaster Displacement: A global review, 2008-2018, Technical report
✸ Global climate risk index 2019, Germanwatch
✸ Inform Risk Index, 2019
✸ Global Report on international displacement, May 2018, IDMC