Natural disasters – finding the latest updates from the news

Information about natural disasters

Having access to real-time information about natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and forest fires is key as these events cause property damage and put human life at risk. Timely access to information about natural disasters can help limit the fallout and improve rescue and clean-up efforts. Information about natural disasters can be accessed from various sources such as satellite images, twitter posts, but also via news reports.

List of countries by natural disaster risk

World risk overview (the top 18) from the World Risk Index 2016 report

The World Risk Index 2016 report shows that high disaster risk areas lie in Oceania, Southeast Asia, Central America, and the Southern Sahel. It is this social vulnerability that forms the basis for the World Risk Index, which calculates the disaster risk for 171 countries by multiplying vulnerability with exposure to natural hazards (cyclones, droughts, earthquakes, floods, and sea-level rise). The second column shows the exposure to natural disasters for a certain country, however, the calculation of the world risk index includes other factors such as vulnerability of the country and it’s capabilities and resources to resist the impact of natural disasters.

Which natural disasters cause the most damage

The graph below from the World Risk Index 2016 report shows, that natural disasters like storms and floods are among the highest reported and they cause the most damage (measured in billions of US dollars). The graph is based on the data taken from the Natural Disasters Database, among other sources.

Number of reported disasters and the amount of damages

The graph demonstrated the consequences of natural disasters in numbers showing only the damage, but there is also a great human cost involved with such phenomena.

Search by categories – Natural Disasters and Hazards

The GIF below shows how to find news articles which report on natural disasters by defining the category of the search. The list of articles will include all the topics and keywords within this category.

To increase the number of results within the articles, you can add more categories, such as Fire and Security and Environment.

A number of events reporting on storms, floods, droughts and earthquakes

The graph in one of the previous paragraphs (Number of reported disasters and the amount of damage) shows how many natural disasters took place in the period from 2013 to 2015.

Using Event Registry, we will demonstrate the number of events reporting about floods but for a different period of time.

Searching for events reporting about flood within the specified category

The picture above shows how to narrow down the search criteria to find events which:

  • report about floods
  • belong to the Natural Disasters and Hazards category
  • for the period from 1.1.2016 – 1.1.2017
  • at least 30 articles reported about the same event

We defined the minimum event coverage to 30 articles as we want to get reports only on bigger events. Selecting the amount of event coverage allows us to control the threshold of media coverage qualifying the event as being of interest to us.

Geographical locations of events

Another function available in Event Registry is limiting the geographical location for events. In the example below, we defined the search for events within the Natural Disasters and Hazards category limited to Japan.

Events about natural disasters in Japan

The map below shows the relevant locations for the events.

Geographic locations of events

Real-time news feed API 

Using Event Registry you can create your own custom news feed by defining what you are looking for, whether it be natural disasters or other topics of interest. Access the data through API and integrate the news feed to your app or website. Find out how to set it up in our documentation.

Aleksandra Sirec

Marketing enthusiast


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