Learning from Past Disasters

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Memory and awareness raising are essential in keeping the risk at the forefront of our minds.  Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction

These collections explore the lessons learned from past disasters, what were the risk drivers, impacts and efforts towards building back better.

Indonesia tsunami 2018

In September 2018, a tsunami struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi causing widespread damage, especially to the city of Palu.

Hurricane Florence 2018

Hurricane Florence caused severe damage in the American states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. A look into the risk drivers, impacts, and lessons learned.

Kerala floods 2018

In August 2018, severe floods affected Kerala, a south Indian state, following unusually heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. These resources explore the floods' impacts, the recovery efforts, and the lessons learned.

Hurricane Maria 2017  

Hurricane Maria caused rampant destruction in Puerto Rico and notably led to a well-publicized death count debate. These resources explore the disaster's impacts, the recovery efforts and the lessons learned.

Hurricane Irma 2017

Hurricane Irma ravaged the Caribbean and Atlantic US, causing well over $50 billion worth of damage and dozens of deaths. These resources explore the hurricane's impacts, the recovery efforts and the lessons learned.

Hurricane Harvey 2017  

Hurricane Harvey caused widespread damage across the Southern U.S., especially Texas. These resources explore the disaster's impacts, the recovery efforts and the lessons learned.

Atlantic hurricanes 2017 

In 2017, several Atlantic hurricanes had devastating economic and social impacts across the United States and the Caribbean. These resources explore the hurricanes’ impact, the recovery efforts and the lessons learned.

Sierra Leone mudslide 2017 

In August 2017, a massive mudslide in Freetown, Sierra Leone, resulted in many deaths while destroying homes and communities. A closer look at the risk drivers and lessons learned from the Sierra Leone mudslide.

Fort McMurray wildfire 2016

In 2016, a wild fire swept through Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, destroying thousands of homes and buildings, and causing tens of thousands of people to evacuate. A look into the risk drivers and the lessons learned.

South Africa drought 2015-2018 

Between 2015 and 2018, South Africa experienced an ongoing drought, with fears that Day Zero would be declared and water would be entirely shut off in Cape Town. A look into risk drivers, domestic and global responses, and how Day Zero was avoided.

Nepal earthquake 2015  

An earthquake struck Nepal in April 2015, affecting thousands and marking the country's worst earthquake since 1934. These resources explore the risk drivers, the lessons learned and the efforts to build back better.

El Niño 2015-2016

The 2015–16 El Niño was one of the strongest El Niño events since 1950, with wide-ranging effects felt around the world. These resources explore its impacts and good practices for future preparedness.

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) 2013 

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated the Philippines, killing and causing unprecedented destruction. These resources explore the risk drivers, the disaster’s impact and the subsequent efforts to build back better.

USA: Hurricane Sandy 2012 

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in Cuba and swept through the U.S., east coast, causing widespread damages. These resources explore the risk drivers, the disaster’s impact and the subsequent efforts to build back better.

Horn of Africa drought and famine 2011  

In 2011, widespread drought in the Horn of Africa caused a severe food crisis, affecting millions of people. These resources explore the risk drivers, the global community’s response and the subsequent effort to build resilience in the region.

Japan: Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster 2011

In 2011, an earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and caused three nuclear meltdowns, marking the biggest nuclear incident since the Chernobyl Disaster. A look into DRR efforts and the lessons learned.

Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami 2011

The 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami triggered widespread damage, including the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. These resources explore the disaster's impact, the lessons learned and the efforts to build back better.

Australia Floods 2010-2011 

In 2010-11 a series of floods hit Queensland, Australia and affected approximately 90 towns, causing severe economic losses. These resources explore the floods' impacts and subsequent efforts to improve preparedness and flood mitigation.

New Zealand: Christchurch and Canterbury earthquakes 2010-2011

A powerful earthquake in Canterbury, New Zealand, triggered a series of damaging aftershocks, including an earthquake that caused multiple deaths in Christchurch. An examination of the risk drivers, lessons learned and efforts to build back better.

Pakistan floods 2010-2011

In July 2010, heavy monsoon rains caused massive flooding in Pakistan, affecting millions and submerging approximately one-fifth of Pakistan's land area. A look into the risk drivers and the efforts to build back better.

Haiti earthquake 2010

In 2010, a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti, triggering multiple aftershocks and affecting millions of people. These resources explore the disaster’s impact, the lessons learned and the efforts to build back better.

Italy: L’Aquila earthquake 2009 

An earthquake struck central Italy in 2009, causing severe damage to l'Aquila, a nearby town, and killing hundreds while destroying monuments from the Middle Ages. A look into the risk drivers and efforts to build back better.

Hurricane Katrina 2005

Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States and is widely remembered as one of the most consequential disasters. These resources explore the lessons learned and recovery efforts.

Indian Ocean tsunami disaster 2004

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is remembered as one of the most devastating disasters in the world. These resources explore the risk drivers, the lessons learned, and the efforts to build back better.

Hurricane Mitch 1998

Hurricane Mitch is widely remembered as one of the most destructive hurricanes to strike Central America, in no small part because it caused widespread homelessness in Honduras. These resources explore recovery efforts and lessons learned.

Chernobyl disaster 1986

The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident of the 20th century. A look at the lessons learned and efforts to rehabilitate the affected areas.