Countries Most Prone to Natural Disasters

The flooding aftermath of a cyclone in India. India is very prone to natural disasters.
The flooding aftermath of a cyclone in India. India is very prone to natural disasters.

Natural disasters have the potential to wreck and even end the lives of those people who stand in their way. However, whether or not you are likely to be affected by a natural disaster greatly depends on where in the world you live, as some countries are more prone to natural disasters than others. Below, we provide an overview of the countries that are most commonly affected by natural disasters. All data is from EM-DAT.

Countries with the Highest Fatality Rates from Natural Disasters


India is more prone to natural disasters than anywhere else in the world. This is mostly due to the warm, humid climate of India that is conducive to cyclones and floods. In the country's mountainous regions, there are dangers of other natural disasters such as avalanches. The worst natural disaster to ever have occurred in India is the 1839 India Cyclone that killed an astonishing 300,000 individuals. 

United States

The United States is one of the largest countries in the world, which allows for a pretty varied landscape. Unfortunately, the landscape variety also means that the country is particularly prone to natural disasters. Some of the natural disasters that occur in the United States include tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, blizzards, tsunamis, mudslides, and forest fires. The worst natural disaster to ever have occurred in the US was a tropical cyclone in Galveston, Texas in the year 1900. 


The statistics presented by EM-DAT show that over 72 million people were affected by natural disasters in China in the last recorded year. Like the United States, China is particularly prone to natural disasters due to its large size and vast landscape. China is prone to several different types of natural disasters such as flooding, droughts, earthquakes, typhoons, and more. Some of the worst natural disasters of all time have occurred in China, as well as some of the world's most expensive disasters such as the 1998 Yangtze River floods. 


Though not as large of a country as other entries on this list, Ethiopia is not safe from natural disasters. The most common natural disasters experienced in Ethiopia include drought and flooding. In fact, over 98% of natural disaster-related deaths in Ethiopia are due to drought. The terrible famine that was experienced in the country in the mid-1980s is partially blamed on drought. 


Malawi is a country found in East Africa. Like Ethiopia, Malawi is very susceptible to drought. Flooding and severe thunderstorms are also a problem in the country. Due to Malawi's location within the East African Rift Valley, the country is also prone to the occasional earthquake. Climate change is said to increase the frequency of these natural events. 

A Global Reach of Death and Destruction

Other countries that are particularly prone to natural disasters include Haiti (earthquakes, hurricanes), Somalia (drought, flooding), Vietnam (typhoons, flooding) The Philippines (typhoons, landslides, earthquakes) and Zimbabwe (cyclones, flooding, drought). As climate change continues, these events are only expected to become more common and drastic. 

Countries Most Affected By Natural Disasters

RankCountryPopulation Affected By Natural Disasters
2United States85,123,038
9The Philippines4,416,499

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