Extreme events, slow-onset events such as droughts and sea-level rise, and technological or man-made hazards often have disastrous impacts if the resilience of people and infrastructure is not sufficiently strengthened. As urbanization continues apace, coupled with inadequate health care, environmental degradation, fragile statehood and violent conflicts, disaster risks become more acute, complex and increasingly interdependent. Climate change amplifies these factors.
In Colombia, similar to most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, 88% of all the disasters that have occurred over the past thirty years are weather-related events. However, losses and damages do not only depend on the intensity or frequency of the events, but mostly on the exposure, vulnerability, and coping capacities of individuals, infrastructure, and systems in face of hazards. Risks derive from the interaction of hazards, exposure, vulnerability, and coping capacity - hence, risks can in- or decrease because of changes in one of these factors.