During the past decade, natural hazards have wrought havoc like never before. As many as 4,777 natural disasters have claimed more than 880,000 lives, affected the homes, health and livelihoods of 1.88 billion people and inflicted economic losses of around us $685 billion. While divulging these alarming facts, the 400-page un report titled 'Living With Risk' highlights the lessons learnt by experts and communities in the wake of natural disasters. The study reviews initiatives made in disaster mitigation. The report looks at the ways in which political imagination and better communication can save lives from catastrophes.
"Earthquakes don't kill people, unsafe buildings do," says Kenzo Oshima, un under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs. It is felt that many victims of the so-called natural disasters could have been saved had their leaders seen the impending hazard and averted it. The report calls for steps such as risk assessment, warning mechanisms and public safety to be built into all development planning.
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