The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) is the world’s foremost agency for the study of public health during mass emergencies, including the epidemiology of diseases, plus the structural and socio-economic impacts of natural and technological disasters and human conflicts.
Based since 1973 at the School of Public Health of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), Belgium, CRED became in 1980 a World Health Organization (WHO) collaboration centre. Since then, CRED has worked closely with United Nations agencies, inter-governmental and governmental institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), research institutes and other universities.
Disasters preparedness, mitigation and prevention for vulnerable populations have also gained a higher profile within CRED’s activities in recent years. CRED is maintaining the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) since 1988. The main objectives of EM-DAT are to inform humanitarian action at the national and international levels in order to improve rational decision-making in disaster preparedness, provide objective data for assessing communities’ vulnerability to disasters and help policy-makers set priorities.
EM-DAT contains core data on the occurrence and effects of more than 23,000 natural and technological disasters from 1900 to the present day. It is compiled from various sources (UN agencies, the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, national governments, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, NGOs, insurance companies, research institutes and the media) according to a priority list. CRED defines a disaster as “a situation or event that overwhelms local capacity, necessitating a request at the national or international level for external assistance; an unforeseen and often sudden event that causes great damage, destruction and human suffering”.
CRED defines a disaster as “a situation or event that overwhelms local capacity, necessitating a request at the national or international level for external assistance; an unforeseen and often sudden event that causes great damage, destruction and human suffering”. Only natural disasters (biological excluded) are included in this publication. For a disaster to be entered into the database, at least one of the following criteria must be fulfilled: • 10 or more people reported killed • 100 or more people reported affected • declaration of a state of emergency • call for international assistance Since 2014, EM-DAT also georeferences natural disasters, adding geographical values to numeric data which is essential for deeper analysis.
November 15, 2020
| Dataset date: May 31, 2020
Aggregated figures for Natural Disasters in EM-DAT
More on the EM-DAT database : ( website / data portal ).
Each line corresponds to a given combination of year, country, disaster subtype and reports figures for :
number of disasters
total number of people affected
total number of deaths
economic losses (original value and adjusted)