Accidents at sea the deadliest disasters in the Mediterranean in first six months of 2011, says civil protection study

A study by the EU-funded civil protection project PPRD South, on the disasters recorded in the international disaster database (EM-DAT) for the first six months of 2011, indicates that 73% of disasters in the Mediterranean in this period were due to major transport accidents, causing 479 deaths - 93% of the total deaths recorded in the period – and involving more than 700 persons.

More than half of these transport accidents involved sea transport and caused nearly 84% of all transport accident deaths. Most of these sea transport accidents involved migrants trying to reach Italian coasts from Libya and Tunisia.
The study was carried out by the EU-funded PPRD South programme to compare global and regional disaster statistics following the release of the first semester 2011 issue of CRED CRUNCH, a bi-yearly publication on global disaster statistics prepared by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) of the University of Louvain on the basis of the EM-DAT international disaster database.
Of the fifteen disastrous events recorded in the EM-DAT database for the first semester 2011 in the Mediterranean, eleven are transport accidents, two are earthquakes – Spain and Turkey – and the other two are a building collapse in Egypt and an industrial explosion in Turkey.
While globally EM-DAT figures show the occurrence of 108 natural disasters, which killed over 23,000 people, affected nearly 44 million others and caused more than $253 billion of economic damages, for the Mediterranean region only two natural disasters – earthquakes – are reported over the period, killing 10 and affecting over 15,000.
The €5 million PPRD South Programme – which runs for three years and is managed by a consortium led by the Italian Civil Protection Department together with the French, Algerian, Egyptian Civil Protection Authorities and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) – is also organising training workshops dealing with risks in the region such as wild fires, technological disasters, floods, earthquakes, epidemics and drought, among others.  (ENPI Info Centre)
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Press release
PPRD South – fiche and news  
PPRD South – website

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