Urban migration means natural disasters affecting many more people: UN official

At least 250 million people endured the effects of natural disasters last year - almost three times the amount of people in 1990 - prompting the head of the United Nations disaster-reduction body to warn this trend will worsen as more and more migrants move to high-risk urban areas because the economic opportunities are greater there.

Good management can reduce impact of natural disasters – Annan

Better planning and management could reduce the impact of natural hazards before they become disasters, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

Use of modern technology for disaster management in Asia-Pacific focus of UN meeting

Harnessing modern technology and increasing regional cooperation in disaster preparedness could save lives and help prevent some of the billions of dollars in property damage each year across Asia and the Pacific, United Nations officials stressed today at a meeting in Bangkok.

UN International Day for Disaster Reduction highlights perils of mountain communities

Mountain communities, exposed to high rain and snowfalls as well as the landslides and avalanches that often result from them, are particularly vulnerable to the threat of natural disasters, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a message today to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

UN unveils plan for cutting risks posed by natural disasters

Launching a global review of initiatives aimed at cutting the risk posed by natural disasters, the United Nations today called for a world where earthquakes shake buildings but not economies, cyclones bring drama but not tragedy, and floods drench landscapes without destroying lives.

On annual day for disaster reduction, Annan calls for strategic response to hazards

Marking the International Day for Disaster Reduction, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today stressed the need to implement a strategic response to natural hazards.

UN agency calls for new measures to cope with health effects of drought, floods

While quick-onset disasters like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides may be more dramatic and take a very high toll in human lives, floods and droughts often have longer lasting and more far-reaching effects on the health of their victims, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).