Countries That Suffer the Most From Extreme Weather Events

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4. Haiti
> Avg. annual fatalities from weather disasters (1998-2017): 281
> Avg. annual losses from weather disasters: $418.21 million
> Population: 11,123,176

While a single weather event can markedly elevate a country’s CRI status in a given year, Haiti, like the Philippines, is perennially and reliably among the most weather devastated places in the world, and the devastation is exacerbated by the country’s extreme poverty. Haiti suffers from multi-year droughts, as it did from 2012 to 2015, and is threatened annually by hurricanes. Hurricane Mathew in 2016 killed 800 people and left 806,000 requiring emergency food assistance. These weather events impaired Haiti’s ability to recover from a different kind of natural disaster, a 2010 earthquake that killed a still unknown number of people, possibly as many as 316,000.

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3. Myanmar
> Avg. annual fatalities from weather disasters (1998-2017): 7,049
> Avg. annual losses from weather disasters: $1.3 billion
> Population: 53,708,395

In a country prone to earthquakes, storm surges, floods, and landslides, a single disaster, Cyclone Nargis in 2008, is responsible for Myanmar’s high ranking. With Nargis, the worst natural disaster in Myanmar’s history, 140,000 people lost their lives. The cyclone was responsible for 95% of all damage experienced and fatalities in the past two decades.

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2. Honduras
> Avg. annual fatalities from weather disasters (1998-2017): 302
> Avg. annual losses from weather disasters: $556.56 million
> Population: 9,587,522

Honduras is particularly vulnerable to a range of weather disasters, including storms, floods, and drought. It earned its current high CRI ranking thanks to the damage 1998 Hurricane Mitch wrought, the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record at the time. The country experienced 180 mile-an-hour winds as the hurricane made landfall, with total rainfall ranging from 30 to 50 inches as the storm moved slowly inland. The flooding, mudslides, and winds destroyed infrastructure, crops, and population centers. Fatalities attributed to Mitch exceeded 11,000 across Central America and Mexico, with thousands of people missing.

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1. Puerto Rico
> Avg. annual fatalities from weather disasters (1998-2017): 150
> Avg. annual losses from weather disasters: $5.0 billion
> Population: 3,195,153

Puerto Rico rose to the top of the list of countries most affected by extreme weather following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in 2017. A class 4 hurricane when it blasted across the island, Maria took lives and property, caused extreme flooding and mudslides, and cut 100% of the country’s electricity. The initial official estimate of 64 hurricane-related deaths has been greatly expanded since and is now believed to be closer to 3000, including deaths caused by loss of medical services.