The Natural Disaster Database for Central Africa

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About the database

Central Africa is a geomorphologically active region that is severely affected by a wide range of natural disasters. However, still little is known about the spatial and temporal trends in the occurrence of such events. The Natural Disaster Database for Central Africa was launched in 2008 by the Geomorphology and Remote Sensing Division in order to meet this need, and to raise public awareness of the threats to the region.

The database records over 270 reported disasters (droughts, floods, storms, earthquakes, volcanic activity and mass movements) that occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi after 1900. They caused almost 2,000 reported deaths and affected more than 12.2 million people. Over 500 ravines and landslides have also been identified using high-resolution satellite imagery.

The frequency of events, notably those of hydrological origin, has risen drastically since the turn of the millennium. Most disasters have taken place in the rugged and densely populated Rwanda-Burundi-Kivu provinces region and in the deforested edges of the Congo Basin.