Natural disasters uprooted more than 32 million people in 2012

32,4 million people were forced to flee their homes last year due to natural disasters such as floods, storms and earthquakes, according to a report released by Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre on May 13, 2013. According to the report, 98% of those uprooted were displaced by climate- and weather-related events. Climate change is believed to play an increasingly significant role in global disasters. 2012 Special Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that, “disasters associated with climate extremes influence population mobility and relocation, affecting host and origin communities.”

This map shows internal displacement worldwide in 2012 by state and number of displaced people. CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW (Credit: NRC/IDMC)

Floods in India and Nigeria were responsible for 41 % of displacement worldwide last year. Monsoon floods in India uprooted about 6.9 million people, while in Nigeria some 6.1 million were newly displaced. While Asia and Africa were hardest affected, some 1.3 million people were displaced in wealthy nations, especially the United States. Last year, the U.S. was among the 10 countries that experienced the most new displacement. Following Hurricane Sandy, most of those displaced were able to find refuge in adequate temporary shelter while displaced from their own homes.

The largest regional increase in the number of internally displaced people in 2012 was in the Middle East and North Africa, where 2.5 million people were forced to flee their homes. There were almost 6 million affected in the region at the end of 2012, a rise of 40 % on the 2011. Asia showed the second highest increase in new displacement after the Middle East and North Africa, with 1.4 million people forced to flee their homes during 2012.

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