The Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), through its National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), has requested further ADB assistance to summarize international experiences and good practice in situations similar to that which PRC is currently experiencing as a result of a great earthquake1 that struck Sichuan Province on 12th May 2008. This note examines recent large-scale disasters in India, Indonesia, Japan, Turkey, and the United States (see appendix 1 for disaster sketches) and focuses on generic issues pertaining to urban development, rural and urban housing construction, infrastructure construction, livelihood rehabilitation, spatial planning (land use), and disaster prevention.
It is appropriate to place the Sichuan earthquake into perspective, both within PRC and in a global context. In a typical year, up to 200 million people are affected by natural disasters in PRC, and 40 million hectares of crops are damaged. The average annual economic impact from disasters is about 100 billion Yuan ($14.5 billion). While PRC has experienced at least 3,200 destructive earthquakes since BC1931, many of which have resulted in substantial death and destruction, it is typhoons with their heavy rain, strong winds, storm surges and concomitant flooding that cause more casualties and property loss overall than any other kind of natural hazard in PRC,2 even though earthquakes have accounted for 54% of natural disaster deaths since 1949.Table 1 provides a comparative analysis using the number of people affected in recent natural disasters in PRC.
Asian Development Bank. Date:March 2011.Type: Papers. Country:China, People's Republic of; India; Indonesia Subject: Governance and public sector management Series: Observations and Suggestions