Metro Manila named world’s riskiest city next to Tokyo-Yokohama


Philippines’ national capital — Manila — named as the second riskiest city in the world, Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd. (Swiss Re) said on Saturday, May 17.

Swiss Re, the world’s second-largest reinsurer, ranks the metropolitan city of Manila as one of the riskiest cities threatened by earthquakes and high winds – just next to Tokyo-Yokohama in Japan.

These are the 10 most riskiest cities across the globe, from No. 10: Tehran, Iran (earthquakes); Los Angeles, United States (earthquakes); Shanghai, China (floods); Kolkata, India (floods); Nagoya, Japan (tsunami); Jakarta, Indonesia (earthquakes); Osaka-Kobe, Japan (earthquakes); Pearl River Delta, China, where Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Macau and Ghangzhou are located (storm surge, cyclonic winds, floods).

With 37 million inhabitants living under the threat of earthquakes, monsoons, river flash-floods and as well as tsunami, the Tokyo-Yokohama City top the list.

“For the first time in human history more people live in cities than in rural areas,” stated by the Zurich-based reinsurer, noting that many of these cities are on the Pacific coast line that are threatened by floods, storms, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

“The vibrancy of these cities is a key driver for economic development. However, the growing concentration of people, assets and infrastructure also means that the loss potential in urban areas is high and rising.

At the same time the gap between economic and insured losses is large because insurance penetration is relatively low and city infrastructure ?often not insured at all.”

In what Matthias Weber, Group Chief Underwriting Officer, calls “a comprehensive analysis of natural disaster risk locations” worldwide, Swiss Re’s report focuses on the toughest natural calamities confronting 616 of the world’s largest urban regions and assesses the potential impact they have on local citizens and the wider economy.

The report observes that while natural catastrophes caused average economic losses of $60 billion to $100 billion per annum, a single large-scale disaster in the heart of a huge metropolitan economy can surpass these figures significantly.

Eight out of the ranking’s 10 most heavily exposed urban communities are all in East Asian region, with the Pearl River Delta (17.2 million people potentially affected), Tokyo-Yokohama (14.1 million) and Manila (12.6 million) at the top.

Besides being exposed to frequent tropical typhoons and storm surges, many cities in the region are also located in the Pacific ring of fire zone including Tokyo, Taipei and Manila.

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