890 Million Urban Dwellers at Risk of Natural Disaster: UN

At least 890 million people that live in urban areas are exposed to at least one major risk of natural disaster, according to a new report issued by the United Nations.

Urban centers in Latin America, Caribbean, North America and “especially Asia” are have greatest exposure to natural hazards, according to an updated version of the World Urbanization Prospects report released Thursday.

According to the analysis, over 60 percent of the 450 urban areas (cities with 1 million or more inhabitants ) throughout the world are located in regions exposed to a large natural disaster.

The report defines risk exposure as urban centers located in proximity to coastal areas, earthquake faults or climate zones. This is the first time the report has measured risk of natural disaster.

Major cities in Europe and Africa are the least exposed overall to natural disasters the report says, with “only” 26 percent and 37 percent of their cities with one million inhabitants or more are living in regions exposed to at least one major risk of natural disaster.

Overall, the biggest increases in urban population over the next 40 years are expected in India, China, Nigeria, the United States and Indonesia, the report added.

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