The Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) maintains a global database on disasters. In collaboration with the new United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) they summarize disasters in the past decade. They state that in the first decade of the 20th century (2000-2009), 3,852 disasters killed more than 780,000 people over the past ten years, affected more than two billion others and cost a minimum of 960 billion US$. Earthquakes were the most deadly disaster, killing nearly 60% of the people killed by disasters. The next most deadly types of disasters were, storms (22%) and extreme temperatures (11%).
The most deadly disasters were:
- the Indian Ocean Tsunami killed 225 000 people
- Cyclone Nargis killed 140 000 people
- the Sichuan earthquake in China killed 90 000 people.
- Pakistan earthquake killed 70 000 people
- European heat wave killed 70 000
The pattern of people affected by disaster is quite different. Two billion people were impact by disaster. The most important of these disasters were floods impacted 44%, droughts impacted 30%, and earthquakes impacted only 4% of this total. Also, since the 1980s the number of impacted people has increased, but the number of people killed by disaters has declined.