Appendix D

Disaster Agencies and Databases

A greater understanding of the occurrence and impacts of natural disasters in the region and the capabilities of response in the region can be gained from a variety of sources. These include national and international databases; regional international intergovernmental and international nongovernmental organizations (INGO) and programs; and national disaster agencies.

INTERNATIONAL DISASTER DATABASES

There have been increasing efforts to compile international datasets on natural disasters worldwide, five of which are examined here (cf. the review of hazards in South Asia by Gupta and Muralikrishna, 2010). These datasets differ in coverage and data quality; they have different filters, strengths, and limitations (see reviews by Beckman, 2009; Gall et al., 2009). Although these databases have some overlap, each offers different information and insights into disasters that have risen to an international level of recognition. Damage and loss estimation is particularly uneven. The ECLAC (2003) methodology is sometimes used for assessing damage and needs in major disasters, but it is not consistently applied for database development.1

Currently all databases need to be searched and compared independently. They include different types of hazards, and in some cases different definitions of hydroclimatic hazards (Table D.1). They present nationally aggregated data, and it is therefore important to compare them with national databases. The Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) has reported on efforts to “harmonize” national databases in Asia (Below et al., 2010). One international database, for example, the DesInventar Global Assessment Report (GAR), hosts a national disaster database that is discussed under national programs.

Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of
Disasters EM-DAT Database (CRED EM-DAT)

The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) at Louvain, Belgium, compiles the most comprehensive public-access database worldwide, the EM-DAT international disaster database.2 It has coverage from 1900 to the present for ten major categories of hazards (Table D.1). It also provides individual Country Profiles.3

Global Identifier Number (GLIDE)

The Asian Disaster Reduction Center in Kobe, Japan, has developed a uniform numbering system for disaster data management. Each disaster that meets a set of criteria is issued a global identifier number (GLIDE) and catalogued using this number.4 GLIDE

_________

1 There are other INGOs that have natural hazards programs, for example, the United Nations Development Programme’s GRIP (www.gripweb.org). An important effort for detailed forensic case study analysis is under development (Burton, 2010; IRDR, 2011).

2 See www.emdat.be.

3 Cf. country profiles on UNISDR’s Prevention Web: www.preventionweb.net.

4 See www.glidenumber.net.



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Appendix D Disaster Agencies and Databases A greater understanding of the occurrence and of hydroclimatic hazards (Table D.1). They present impacts of natural disasters in the region and the nationally aggregated data, and it is therefore important capabilities of response in the region can be gained to compare them with national databases. The Center from a variety of sources. These include national and for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) international databases; regional international inter- has reported on efforts to "harmonize" national data- governmental and international nongovernmental bases in Asia (Below et al., 2010). One international organizations (INGO) and programs; and national database, for example, the DesInventar Global Assess- disaster agencies. ment Report (GAR), hosts a national disaster database that is discussed under national programs. INTERNATIONAL DISASTER DATABASES Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of There have been increasing efforts to compile Disasters EM-DAT Database (CRED EM-DAT) international datasets on natural disasters worldwide, five of which are examined here (cf. the review of haz- The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology ards in South Asia by Gupta and Muralikrishna, 2010). of Disasters (CRED) at Louvain, Belgium, compiles These datasets differ in coverage and data quality; they the most comprehensive public-access database world- have different filters, strengths, and limitations (see wide, the EM-DAT international disaster database.2 reviews by Beckman, 2009; Gall et al., 2009). Although It has coverage from 1900 to the present for ten major these databases have some overlap, each offers different categories of hazards (Table D.1). It also provides indi- information and insights into disasters that have risen vidual Country Profiles.3 to an international level of recognition. Damage and loss estimation is particularly uneven. The ECLAC Global Identifier Number (GLIDE) (2003) methodology is sometimes used for assessing damage and needs in major disasters, but it is not con- The Asian Disaster Reduction Center in Kobe, sistently applied for database development.1 Japan, has developed a uniform numbering system for Currently all databases need to be searched and disaster data management. Each disaster that meets compared independently. They include different types a set of criteria is issued a global identifier number of hazards, and in some cases different definitions (GLIDE) and catalogued using this number.4 GLIDE 1 There are other INGOs that have natural hazards programs, 2 See www.emdat.be. for example, the United Nations Development Programme's GRIP 3 Cf. country profiles on UNISDR's Prevention Web: www. (www.gripweb.org). An important effort for detailed forensic case preventionweb.net. study analysis is under development (Burton, 2010; IRDR, 2011). 4 See www.glidenumber.net. 131

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132 APPENDIX D TABLE D.1 Types of Natural Hazards Recorded by strategic planning purposes.5 Its historical archive International Dataset includes 28,000 datasets with increasingly compre- Dartmouth Flood hensive coverage after 1980. Its annual map of losses Observatory in 2010 indicates that a large proportion of hazards in CRED EM-DAT Database GAR GLIDE South Asia have been meteorological or hydrological Drought Dam release + Drought Drought heavy rain events. Although some NATHAN data are publically accessible, some detailed NATHAN data are not publi- Earthquake Dam/Levy, Cold wave Cold wave (seismic activity) break or release cally available and were therefore not used extensively Epidemic Monsoon rain Avalanche Earthquake in this report. Extreme Torrential rain Earthquake Epidemic temperature ReliefWeb Flood Tropical cyclone Fire Extreme temperature The U.N. Office for Coordination of Humani- Insect infestation Tropical storm Flood Flash flood tarian Affairs maintains a comprehensive portal for Mass movement Rain and Forest fire Flood humanitarian concerns worldwide called ReliefWeb.6 Dry snowmelt As of August 19, 2011, Afghanistan had the largest Mass movement Snowmelt Frost Heat wave number of "Updates" in the region. Most of Afghani- Wet stan's entries are conflict related, for which it ranks first Storm Tidal surge Hailstorm Landslide worldwide with 27,231 Updates, followed by Sudan Wildfire Heat wave Mudslide and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pakistan also Landslide Severe local storm has a high number of updates for both natural disasters Liquefaction SLIDE (use LS/ and complex emergencies. In 2010, ReliefWeb reported AV/MS instead) the following number of humanitarian entries for Rains Snow avalanche the countries in the study area: Afghanistan, 27,674; Snowstorm Tornadoes Bangladesh, 4,838; Bhutan, 159; India, 10,201; Nepal, Storm Tropical cyclone 6,089; and Pakistan, 17,120. Strong wind Tsunami Thunderstorm Volcano Dartmouth Flood Observatory Database and wave/surge(use TS/SS instead) Flood Remote Sensing Databases The Dartmouth Flood Observatory Database,7 now hosted at the University of Colorado, Boulder, has numbers are used by disaster-related organizations compiled and mapped major flood events worldwide worldwide (example.g., CRED). A strength of the since 1985. Other agency websites provide detailed GLIDE system is that it differentiates among many remotely sensed flood imagery, for example, the Global types of hazards (Table D.1). One weakness is that it Flood Detection System,8 the National Oceanic and does not provide consistent comments on damages or Atmospheric Administration's Operational Significant separate losses of life, livelihoods, and property into Event Imagery,9 the National Aeronautics and Space separate data fields. The GLIDE data do not indicate Administration's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission increasing disaster frequency over the past decade; or TRMM,10 the CREST site,11 and others. As these however, they do support other observations about the relative high frequency of flood and storm events. 5 See www.munichre.com/touch/. 6 See www.relief.int. 7 See floodobservatory.colorado.edu. Munich RE NATHAN Database 8 See www.gdacs.org/flooddetection. 9 See www.osei.noaa.gov/. The Munich RE NATHAN Database is a pro- 10 See trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/. prietary database used for insurance, investment and 11 See oas.gsfc.nasa.gov/CREST/global/.

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APPENDIX D 133 data and technologies expand, it will be important Integrated Water and Hazard Management Pro- to make comparable investments in integrative field grammes.17 The International Centre for Integrated research on the human dimensions of flood hazards Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a regional (Guha-Sapir et al., 2011). knowledge development and learning center based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The center supports three major REGIONAL INTERGOVERNMENTAL projects on mountain hydroclimate hazards in the ORGANIZATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL Himalayan region: NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS Disaster Preparedness in the Himalayas Pro- gram is the broadest initiative in the field. Regional intergovernmental organizations and The new INDUS Project for Capacity Build- international nongovernmental organizations that ing for Improved Monitoring of Snow, Ice and focus on natural hazards and disaster reduction in the Water Resources brings together scientists from South Asia region offer different perspectives on, and Indus Basin countries for joint discussions and approaches to, natural hazards. Although not intended possible collaboration. as an exhaustive list, the following provides a summary The HKH-HYCOS Project established a of organizations of note along with information about Regional Flood Information System in the Hindu their focus: Kush-Himalayan area. SAARC--Disaster Knowledge Network. 18 Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC).12 SAARC is the main regional intergovernmental orga- This regional organization in Bangkok serves most nization (IGO) for South Asia. It has added disaster countries in South Asia except, it appears, Afghanistan reduction to its shared concerns, creating a regional and Bhutan. The center offers professional training and center in New Delhi that networks members and a clearinghouse of information in association with the agencies in each country. It has created a knowledge Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok. clearinghouse that includes country profiles with links Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network.13 to policies, institutions, and resources. The Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network U.N. ESCAP. 19 The U.N. Economic and Social (ADRRN) out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is a con- Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in sortium of 34 NGOs dedicated to humanitarian assis- Bangkok has a Committee on Disaster Risk Reduc- tance in the Asia-Pacific region, organized to support tion that was established in 2009 and is serviced by regional networking and information sharing. a Committee on Information and Communications Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Technology. Reduction. This organization convenes biennial meet- ings of government ministers in disaster agencies. The NATIONAL DISASTER AGENCIES most recent meeting took place in Seoul, Korea, in AND DATABASES 2010. It focused on disaster risk reduction through climate change adaptation,14 and it was followed by a Nations in the HKH region have disaster agencies biennial conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.15 and databases that take a variety of forms and include Duryog Nivaran.16 This regional nongovern- different types of information, as discussed here. This is mental organization based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, is not intended as an exhaustive list; rather, it is included devoted to decentralized disaster risk reduction, which to provide additional context when considering the bears comparison with ADPC's community-based response of the region to natural and hydroclimatic approach to disaster risk reduction. hazards. 12 See www.adpc.net/2011/. 13 See www.adrrn.net/. 14 See www.amcdrrkorea.org/ 17 See www.icimod.org/?q=209. 15 See www.adrc.asia/acdr/2011_index.html. 18 See saarc-sadkn.org/countries/india/default.aspx 16 See www.duryognivaran.org/. 19 See www.unescap.org/.

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134 APPENDIX D Afghanistan has a cabinet-level Department of (including lowering impounded water levels),24 and Fighting Disasters and a Department of Red Cross school safety. It also includes a disaster management (i.e., 2 of its 11 government departments). It also framework, earthquake recovery, regional climate risk has a National Disaster Management Authority).20 reduction, and annual plans. Afghanistan has limited data on hydroclimate disasters, India's National Disaster Management Author- its stream gauging only being resumed in the early ity was established in 2005 after the catastrophic Guja- 2000s after a two-decade lapse due to armed conflict rat and Kashmir earthquakes.25 Disaster management and civil strife (Mack et al., 2010; World Bank, 2010a). is becoming mainstreamed across national policies International organizations still report and respond to and programs. A major section of the Government natural hazards, though most international appeals and of India Planning Commission's current 5-Year Plan programs address Afghanistan's pervasive "complex for national development is devoted to the subject emergencies" that include civil strife. (Government of India, 2006a, 2008). India's National Bangladesh's Ministry of Food and Disaster Institute of Disaster Management26 established in Management contains a Disaster Management and 1995 as part of the International Decade for Natural Relief Division. Its Comprehensive Disaster Manage- Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) has aligned itself with ment Programme (CDMP) strives to link disaster the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata for advanced risk reduction with climate change and development quantitative analysis of disaster risk and response. It planning (Government of the People's Republic of publishes its own journal and publication series and Bangladesh, 2010a,b, 2011). A website search of these convenes workshops, etc. agencies and programs indicated no specific references The subject of hydroclimatic hazards in the to snow, ice, or glacial hazards, as compared with their Himalayas is addressed in large measure through addi- emphasis on river and coastal flooding and sea level tional agencies, for example, the Ministry of Environ- rise. For example, Bangladesh has an online list of 41 ment and Forests. Although India does not currently past disasters (floods and/or erosion, or cyclones) from appear to have a national publically accessible online 1986 to 200921 and it maintains a "Disaster Incidence disaster database, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Database" with a GIS interface categorizing floods, Poverty Alleviation's Building Materials and Technol- cold waves, and droughts.22 The country's main disas- ogy Promotion Council has produced a detailed Vul- ter maps characterize the northern areas as affected by nerability Atlas of India with detailed district as well as mountain flood hazards along the main river channels aggregate data (Government of India, 2006b). Disaster with drought hazards off channel. Below et al. (2010) management is on the concurrent list of the Constitu- reported that one national database had only 71 records tion of India that gives joint authority to national and and that 62 percent of them lacked damage data. By state governments. State governments are addressed comparison, the international CRED EM-DAT data- below, but none of the states on the left bank of the set for Bangladesh has 477 records of which only 3.3 Ganges River Basin affected by HKH flooding appear percent lack damage data. However, closer inspection to have detailed disaster databases.27 As mentioned of the Government of Bangladesh's online list of 41 elsewhere in this report, security restrictions on access past disasters revealed that it contains more detailed to streamflow data from India's international basins damage data than CRED EM-DAT. constrain scientific analysis of hydroclimate risk reduc- Bhutan has a Department of Disaster Man- tion from the local to state, national, and international agement under the Ministry of Home and Cultural levels. Affairs.23 Its website emphasizes training programs, community-based disaster risk management, GLOFs 24 See www.ddm.gov.bt/?page_id=130. 25 See ndma.gov.in/ndma/index.htm. 20 See www.andma.gov.af/. 26 See nidm.gov.in/default.asp. 21 See www.dmb.gov.bd/pastdisaster.html. 27The states of Orissa and Tamil Nadu, which are particularly af- 22 See http://www.dmic.org.bd/didb/didb.php. fected by cyclones and tsunamis, have detailed disaster loss datasets 23 See www.ddm.gov.bt/. online at www.desinventar.org.

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APPENDIX D 135 In other respects, India's research capacity is the Constitution, enacted in 2010, which shifts many highest in the region. Kapur (2009) has compiled and agencies on its concurrent list of joint federal-provincial analyzed 4,004 natural hazards research publications, authority to an exclusively provincial level of control. limiting the search to hydroclimatic and geophysical Important hazards-related exceptions include the disasters, and excluding related human crises (e.g., Pakistan Meteorological Department under the Min- famines) and technological hazards (e.g., environmen- istry of Defense, a Federal Flood Commission under tal pollution spills). India's advanced remote sensing the Ministry of Water and Power, a Pakistan Centre programs and meteorological research centers also give for Research on Water Resources under the Ministry it a vital role in the region as a whole. of Science and Technology, and the semiautonomous Nepal's Ministry of Energy has a Department Water and Power Development Authority--each of Water-Induced Disaster Prevention.28 Addition- of which has responsibility for different aspects of ally, its Ministry of Environment has a Department hydroclimate hazards management. Devolution of the of Hydrology and Meteorology.29 Although not on its Ministry of Environment raised questions about how national website, Nepal maintains a "Disaster Informa- climate change policies and programs would unfold at tion/Inventory Management System (DIMS) (Below the national level (Aftab, 2011; Ghumman, 2012), but et al., 2010). The Nepal data are publically available the federal cabinet adopted a national climate change on the GAR Database--National Disaster Inventory policy and established a Ministry of Climate Change for Nepal.30 This database has approximately 16,879 in 2012. At the same time, the Ministries of Agricul- records whereas CRED EM-DAT includes only 144 ture and Livestock were devolved, and irrigation has for Nepal and is a case in which the national database already been administered at the provincial level. The is superior to the international one. role of the National Disaster Management Authority,31 Pakistan is undergoing a process of adminis- established in 2006, relative to provincial disaster trative devolution under the 18th Amendment to its management agencies will likewise be important--as hydroclimate hazards cross all of the provincial bound- 28 See http://www.dwidp.gov.np. aries in Pakistan. 29 See www.dhm.gov.np. 30 See gar-isdr.desinventar.net/DesInventar/profiletab.jsp?country code=np11. 31 ndma.gov.pk/.

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