The purpose of this paper is to study and review some major impacts of the disasters during the past 105 years and develop a new theoretical classification of disasters.
A detailed study of disasters in the world during the period (1900‐2005) has been obtained from the recent published sources. In that period more than 40 lessons have been reported based on statistical data analysis of disasters. Furthermore, a two‐dimensional probability density function is developed to categorize the different types of disasters. This paper studies and reviews some major impacts of disasters during the past 105 years and summarizes some major lessons for the future. Furthermore, a new scaling system is presented to determine the actual damage of disasters to human life.
There is no doubt that the impacts of future disasters will not be the same as previous ones but lessons from the past can be very helpful for improving one's knowledge about disasters and providing better response programs for local and international organizations. A new scaling system will also be a useful guide for the development and evaluation of national and international disaster planning, mitigation, and hazard reduction efforts.
Important lessons have been reported based on statistical data analysis of disasters. Moreover, a new classification of disasters is presented to relate the vulnerability factors of a society to the magnitude of the natural disasters.
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