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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1118; doi:10.3390/ijerph13111118

Major Natural Disasters in China, 1985–2014: Occurrence and Damages

1
,
1
,
1,2
,
1,2,* and 2,3,*
1
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shandong University, 44 West Wenhua Road, Jinan 250012, China
2
Climate Change and Health Center, Shandong University, 44 West Wenhua Road, Jinan 250012, China
3
School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jason K. Levy
Received: 12 September 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 4 November 2016 / Published: 10 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3291 KB, uploaded 10 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

This study aimed to describe the characteristics of natural disasters and associated losses from 1985 to 2014. The Mann-Kendall method was used to detect any long-term trends and abrupt changes. Hotspot analysis was conducted to detect the spatial clusters of disasters. We found an increasing trend in the occurrence of integrated natural disasters (tau = 0.594, p < 0.001), particularly for floods (tau = 0.507, p < 0.001), landslides (tau = 0.365, p = 0.009) and storms (tau = 0.289, p = 0.032). Besides, there was an abrupt increase of natural disasters in 1998–2000. Hotspots of droughts, floods, landslides and storms were identified in central, southern, southwest and southeast areas of China, respectively. Annual deaths from integrated natural disasters were decreasing (tau = −0.237, p = 0.068) at about 32 persons/year, decreasing at 17 persons/year for floods (tau = −0.154, p = 0.239), and decreasing at approximately 12 persons/year for storms (tau = −0.338, p = 0.009). No significant trend was detected in inflation-adjusted damages while a declining trend was detected in the ratio of year damage against GDP (gross domestic product). In conclusion, there has been an increasing trend in occurrence of natural disasters in China with the absence of an increase in life and economic losses. Despite the progress in the disaster adaption, there will be great challenges in disaster control for China in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural disasters; spatiotemporal; changing patterns; Mann-Kendall trend test; hotspots; China natural disasters; spatiotemporal; changing patterns; Mann-Kendall trend test; hotspots; China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Han, W.; Liang, C.; Jiang, B.; Ma, W.; Zhang, Y. Major Natural Disasters in China, 1985–2014: Occurrence and Damages. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 1118.

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