From the document:
Natural disasters can have catastrophic impacts. These may be economic, social and environmental. Damage to infrastructure can severely impede economic activity. Social impacts can include loss of life, injury, ill health, homelessness and disruption of communities. Environmental damage can range from the felling of trees to the reshaping of entire landscapes. It is claimed, for instance, that “from 1960 to 1989, hurricanes in the Greater Caribbean Basin resulted in the deaths of 28,000 people, disrupted the lives of 6 million people and destroyed property worth U.S. $16 billion,” (Pulwarty and Riebsame, 1997, p.194; attributed to OAS, 1991). Measuring the comparative vulnerability of countries to natural disasters can serve to draw attention to the issue, identify sectors of the economy or society that are particularly at risk, and assist in planning to mitigate the effects of future events.