Globally, disasters are on the increase, impacting communities and nations with grave social and economic consequences and threatening the survival, dignity and livelihoods of the vulnerable sections of their populations. Shifting socio-economic situations, unplanned urbanisation, environmental degradation, climate variability and change, geological hazards, competition for scarce natural resources, and the threat of epidemics are factors that compound the impact of disasters. Disasters increasingly impact the global economy and the sustainable development of developing countries. In 2011 , 332 natural disasters were registered, less than the average annual disaster frequency observed from 2001 to 2010 (384). However, the human and economic impacts of the disasters in 2011 were massive. Natural disasters killed a total of 30773 people and caused 244.7 million victims worldwide. Economic damages from natural disasters were the highest ever registered, with an estimated US$ 366.1 billion. 

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