Social and economic impact of disasters: estimating the threshold between low and high levels of risk

Catastrophes caused by natural hazards that hit “without warning” serve as grim reminders of the challenge that governments and civil society face in identifying and protecting the areas that are at risk of extreme events. This paper presents a methodology to estimate the threshold of social and economic impact of disasters that indicate events that were the manifestation of high levels of risk. It shows the result of the application of the methodology to Desinventar dataset, which covers 20 countries/regions, and the change in the level of the threshold in the past forty years. The methodology is expected to contribute to the international effort to identify, assess and monitor disaster risks to allow the effective integration of risk reduction into development strategies.