The Tokyo/Yokohama area is most vulnerable to the effects of natural disaster.

24 September 2013 — The Tokyo/Yokohama region and Manila in the Philippines, are the cities most at risk of natural disaster, according to a study by global reinsurer Swiss Re.

Mind the risk: a global ranking of cities under threat from natural disasters ranked the top 10 cities of 616 metropolitan areas for five perils including earthquake, storm, storm surge, tsunami and river flood.

The report said that for the first time in human history more people lived in cities than in rural areas, and that many of these cities were prone to natural disaster.

“The United Nations expects 6.3 billion people or 68 per cent of the world’s population to be living in urban areas by 2050, with the highest increase occurring in high growth markets,” the report stated.

“Many of these cities are located on the coast and are threatened by floods, storms, earthquakes and other natural hazards.

“The vibrancy of these cities is a key driver for economic development. However, the growing concentration of people, assets and infrastructure also means that the loss potential in urban areas is high and rising.”

The report listed three rankings for all aggregated perils – people potentially affected, value of working days lost and value of working days lost relative to national economy.

Under the people potentially affected category the top five rankings were:

  • Tokyo/Yokohama – 57.1 million
  • Manila – 34.6 million
  • Pearl River Delta – 34.5 million
  • Osaka/Kobe – 32.1 million
  • Jakarta – 27.7 million

Under the value of working days lost category the rankings were:

  • Tokyo/Yokohama – 4.5 days
  • Osaka-Kobe – 2.71 days
  • Nagoya – 2.69 days
  • Pearl River Delta – 1.78 days
  • Amsterdam/Rotterdam – 0.96 days

Under the working days lost relative to national economy category the rankings were:

  • Manila – 1.95 days
  • Amsterdam/Rotterdam – 1.31 days
  • Tokyo-Yokohama – 1.29 days
  • San Jose – 1.26 days
  • Guayaquil – 1.20 days

View the full report here.