Droughts, floods, extreme temperatures (% of population, average 1990-2009)
Droughts, floods and extreme temperatures is the annual average percentage of the population that is affected by natural disasters classified as either droughts, floods, or extreme temperature events. A drought is an extended period of time characterized by a deficiency in a region's water supply that is the result of constantly below average precipitation. A drought can lead to losses to agriculture, affect inland navigation and hydropower plants, and cause a lack of drinking water and famine. A flood is a significant rise of water level in a stream, lake, reservoir or coastal region. Extreme temperature events are either cold waves or heat waves. A cold wave can be both a prolonged period of excessively cold weather and the sudden invasion of very cold air over a large area. Along with frost it can cause damage to agriculture, infrastructure, and property. A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessively hot and sometimes also humid weather relative to normal climate patterns of a certain region. Population affected is the number of people injured, left homeless or requiring immediate assistance during a period of emergency resulting from a natural disaster; it can also include displaced or evacuated people. Average percentage of population affected is calculated by dividing the sum of total affected for the period stated by the sum of the annual population figures for the period stated.
EM-DAT: The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database: www.emdat.be, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels (Belgium), World Bank.