Volcanoes Killed More People Than in the Previous 18 Years Last Year
NEW YORK - January 28, 2019
At the end of December 2018, the International Disaster Database EM-DAT reported 281 climatic and geophysical events that killed 10,733 people and affected 61 million people worldwide for the whole of 2018.
In some regions, there have been a number of major natural disasters, but there have been no mega-disasters that would dramatically increase the annual average, as was the case after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, according to the Center for the Study of the Epidemiology of Natural Disasters (CRED), which is managed by EM-DAT. Nevertheless, even relatively small earthquakes and tsunamis caused the deaths of most of the 10,733.
CRED provides complete detailed statistics on those killed in natural disasters in this document, but in general terms it is reflected in the summary chart:
Intensive seismic activity in Indonesia, a series of natural disasters in Japan, floods in India, a very intense year of volcanic activity and fires were notable features of 2018. These events occupied the headlines in the media. In 2018, there were:
Earthquakes and tsunamis - 20 events;
Storms and devastating tornadoes - 84 events;
Floods - 108 events;
Volcanic activity - 7 events;
Drought and extreme temperatures - 39 events;
Forest fires - 9 events.
Counting the death toll, 2018 continued the optimistic trend of a decreasing average annual death toll.
This can be explained by an increase in the standard of living and the development of services warning of natural disasters. It can also be explained by the manipulation of statistical data, which, firstly, does not always reflect the objective reality, and secondly, can be adjusted to any figures.
However, even current statistics indicate that in 2018, volcanic activity led to a greater number of deaths than all the previous 18 years combined.
And this, in general, is not quite true, since we all remember the eruption of the volcano Fuego in Guatemala.
Officially, there were about 113 dead and 329 missing, but in reality, there were thousands of people covered with ashes and the official figure should be increased by at least ten times.
The same applies to the eruptions in Hawaii, where death and destruction were greatly underestimated by statistics. And how many people actually died in Indonesia - nobody knows, because no one really counted them. In addition, the calculations there were quite strange. Many of the victims were attributed to a tsunami, although some tsunamis were caused by volcanic explosions.
On this basis, it is now difficult to say how many more volcanoes killed in 2018 than in previous years. Nevertheless, the observation of seismic activity in the world makes it possible to assume that the established trend continues and volcanoes are just beginning to show their real strength.