Is there what could be called a "global disaster index", i.e., a measure of the number, weighted by their intensities, of all the world's natural disasters at given moments in time throughout history?

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    $\begingroup$ I've read of the 'World Risk Index' that evaluates the current risk based on probability and vulnerability, but never heard of any historical like you describe. $\endgroup$
    – Communisty
    Sep 21, 2017 at 6:23
  • $\begingroup$ This would be interesting. We have scales to compare earthquakes to earthquakes and hurricanes to hurricanes, but not one to compare earthquakes to hurricanes. Damage isn't a good indicator, because bigger cities experience more damage regardless of disaster strength. Perhaps some sort of like comparison (ie, mag 5 earthquake did this much damage to Houston, hurricane strength 5 did this much damage [converting dollars for inflation], so we scale earthquakes:hurricanes as follows...) $\endgroup$
    – user967
    Sep 21, 2017 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ @BarryCarter Perhaps I'm looking for an index measuring the number of deaths due to all natural disasters at particular moments in time? This would be more demographics than earth science, then… $\endgroup$
    – Geremia
    Sep 21, 2017 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ @BarryCarter To compare earthquakes to hurricanes, one could compare the energies they have transferred into manmade structures, for example. $\endgroup$
    – Geremia
    Sep 21, 2017 at 16:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Geremia Number of deaths/injuries wouldn't be a good measure of "strength". Earthquakes striking uninhabited areas would measure zero, for example. The total energy MIGHT be useful, but "transfer into manmade structures" again introduces the element of WHERE the disaster strikes. $\endgroup$
    – user967
    Sep 21, 2017 at 16:36


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