Sustainable Energy

The countries hit hardest by extreme weather

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Nikolay Doychinov | AFP | Getty Images

An historic agreement may have been reached at the United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris late last year, but that could prove too late for some countries.

Sustainable Energy has taken a look at international think tank Germanwatch's Global Climate Risk Index for 2016, part of which profiles the countries most affected by "extreme weather events" in 2014.

The Bonn- and Berlin-based think tank is keen to stress that while single extreme events can't be attributed to man-made climate change, climate change is nonetheless becoming, "an increasingly important factor for changing the odds of occurrence and intensity of these events."

The index is ranked according to "data sets available on the impacts of extreme weather events and associated socio-economic data" and the report's authors stress that the scores are based on past data and shouldn't be used for what the organization describes as a "linear projection" of future climate impacts.


(10) India

Waseem Andrabi | Hindustan Times | Getty Images

Climate Risk Index (CRI) score: 16.17

Monsoon rains in 2014 caused severe flooding and landslides in India.

In a report from September of that year, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) stated that more than 1,000 people were killed as a result of a southwest monsoon, with three million affected overall.

In 2015, heavy rain and a tropical cyclone resulted in the deaths of over 200 people in the south of the country with 1.8 million affected, according to the IFRC.

(9) Bolivia

Aizar Raldes | AFP | Getty Images

CRI score: 16

The South American country was severely affected by floods in 2014. According to the World Food Program, 325,000 people were impacted, with the program offering assistance to 58,500.

A report from the IFRC states that more than 50 people died as a result of rains and flooding.

(8) Burundi

Esdras Ndikumana | AFP | Getty Images

CRI score: 16

One of the world's poorest countries, Burundi suffered following torrential downpours in February 2014.

A 2014 report from the IFRC found that more than 60 people were killed, with an estimated 12,500 people made homeless, with most families losing "everything they owned."

(7) Nepal

Prashant Upadhyay | AFP | Getty Images

CRI score: 15.83

August 2014 saw floods and landslides affect more than 34,000 families in Nepal, according to the IFRC.

(6) Bulgaria

Nikolay Doychinov | AFP | Getty Images

CRI score: 13.83

In the summer of 2014 heavy rainfall and flooding resulted in deaths in Bulgaria.

According to the country's National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, thunderstorms occurred on 28 days in July, with hailstorms happening on 20.

One hailstorm, on the 8th of July, resulted in buildings being damaged in Sofia, with 40 people reported injured and one person reported killed.

(5) Pakistan

Muhammad Raiz | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

CRI score: 12.67

In September 2014, monsoon rains and flash flooding wrought havoc in Pakistan. According to the Government of Pakistan, homes in Punjab, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir collapsed.

A report from the Pakistani government states that more than 360 people were killed with more than one million acres of cropland and 250,000 farmers negatively affected.

(4) Philippines

Mark Fredesjed R. Cristino | Pacific Press/LightRocket | Getty Images

CRI score: 12.50

Storms, typhoons, floods and landslides impacted the lives of millions of people in the Philippines in 2014, according to Germanwatch.

Typhoon Ramassun displaced 500,000 people, and reportedly left around 100 dead, according to the IFRC.

The IFRC added that the sheer power of the typhoon "uprooted trees and toppled electric posts, resulting in the interruption of power supply throughout the affected regions."

(3) Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mersiha Besic | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

CRI score: 11.50

Bosnia and Herzegovina lost nearly 10 percent of its gross domestic product as a result of flooding that also affected Serbia in 2014.

According to a report from the European Commission, "extraordinary rainfall" resulted in the largest level of precipitation in 120 years.

Roughly 90,000 people were displaced, with over 40,000 forced to seek refuge in shelters or move in with family or friends. The total damage was estimated to have been 2.04 billion euros.

(2) Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Sayed Khodaberdi Sadat | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

CRI score: 10.67

A country blighted by armed conflict, in 2014 Afghanistan also suffered as a result of landslides caused by heavy rainfall in Badakhshan, in the north of the country.

According to the United Nations, at least 350 people were killed and families were displaced as a result of the landslides, with "widespread damage to homes and agriculture."

"There have now been more Afghans killed through natural disasters in the past seven days than all of 2013," UN official Mark Bowden said in May 2014.

(1) Serbia

Medin Halilovic | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

CRI score: 8.17

Serbia suffered catastrophic losses as a result of floods and landslides in May 2014 caused by exceptionally heavy rains.

The total value of the disaster came to 1.7 billion euros ($1.82 billion), according to a report by the European Commission, with an estimated 51,800 jobs temporarily lost. Fifty-one people died, 23 as a result of drowning.

The floods affected around 1.6 million people, according to the Commission, with "some 32,000 people… evacuated from their homes."

"Heavy rains, flooding and landslides have been the defining hazards of the new Global Climate Risk Index," Sönke Kreft, author of the study and Team Leader for International Climate Policy at Germanwatch, said in a release.

"Patterns of extreme precipitation is what people and countries will likely face in a warming climate," Kreft added.