Earthquakes, floods, drought, and other natural hazards cause tens of thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of injuries, and billions of dollars in economic losses each year around the world. Many billions of dollars in humanitarian assistance, emergency loans, and development aid are expended annually. Yet efforts to reduce the risks of natural hazards remain largely uncoordinated across different hazard types and do not necessarlly focus on areas at highest risk of disaster. Natural Disaster Hotspots presents a global view of major natural disaster risk hotspots - areas at relatively high risk of loss from one or more natural hazards. It summarizes the results of an interdisciplinary analysis of the location and characteristics of hotspots for six natural hazards - earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, drought, and cyclones. Data on these hazards are combined with state-of-the-art data on the subnational distribution of population and economic output and past disaster losses to identify areas at relatively high risk from one or more hazards. The book also summarizes a range of case studies designed to complement the information provided by the global analysis, to test the applicability of the approach at subglobal scales, and to explore the value of understanding multi-hazard interactions in a decision-making context.
Margaret Arnoldis a Senior Social Development Specialist with the World Bank, specializing in the social dimensions of climate change, disaster risk management, and community-based and gender-sensitive approaches to risk management. She leads work on pro-poor adaptation and resilience building for the Social Resilience cluster. Margaret has been with the World Bank since 1995, and has worked on urban development and post-conflict reconstruction in addition to DRM. She was part of a two-person team that established the World Bank's first unit focused on natural disaster risk management in 1998 (the Disaster Management Facility), and is credited with facilitating the Bank's recognition of disaster risk reduction as a development priority. She is one of the founders of the ProVention Consortium and served as Head of its Secretariat from 2007-2009.