NEW DELHI: India ranks the highest among the world’s most disaster-prone countries for displacement of residents, with 23 lakh, on average, uprooted due to calamities such as floods, cyclones and earthquakes.
A UN study, to be released on the International Day for Disaster Reduction on Friday, forecast a continued rise in homelessness.
China, with annual average displacement of 13 lakh, ranks second.
The estimation of displaced people in India may be on the lower side considering that, in the recent Bihar floods alone, about 1.75 crore were affected and 8.55 lakh evacuated. Floods hit at least half a dozen other states this year.
“Most of this displacement is being driven by flooding, which is on the increase in a warming world where population growth in hazard-prone parts of the globe has increased exposure,” said the study, conducted by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre of the Norwegian Refugee Council and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Robert Glasser, the UN secretary general’s special representative for disaster risk reduction (DRR), said the issue had come into sharp focus as the world coped with a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season, and record floods across Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
The study, ‘A Global Disaster Displacement Risk Model’, does not include slow onset disasters attributed to drought and sea-level rise, the UNISDR said.