Criteria and Definition

Published by SuperAdminEMDAT


For a disaster to be entered into the database at least one of the following criteria must be fulfilled:

• Ten (10) or more people reported killed.
• Hundred (100) or more people reported affected.
• Declaration of a state of emergency.
• Call for international assistance.


EM-DAT data include the main following information:

Disaster number: A unique disaster number for each event (8 digits: 4 digits for the year and 4 digits for the disaster number - i.e.: 19950324).
Country: Country(ies) in which the disaster has occurred.
Disaster group: Two main groups of disasters are distinguished in EM-DAT: natural disasters, and technological disasters. A third category complex disasters has been added in order to include specific event (famine) which are not directly linked to a natural hazard.
Disaster type: Description of the disaster according to a pre-defined classification.
Date: When the disaster occurred. The date is entered as follow: Month/Day/Year.
Death: Number of people who lost their life because the event happened.
Missing:The number of people whose whereabouts since the disaster is unknown, and who are presumed dead (official figure when available).
Total deaths:Sum of death and missing.
Injured: People suffering from physical injuries, trauma or an illness requiring medical treatment as a direct result of a disaster.
Homeless: Number of people whose house is destroyed or heavily damaged and therefore need shelter after an event.
Affected: People requiring immediate assistance during a period of emergency, i.e. requiring basic survival needs such as food, water, shelter, sanitation and immediate medical assistance.
Total affected: Sum of injured, homeless, and affected.
Estimated Damage: The amount of damage to property, crops, and livestock. In EM-DAT estimated damage are given in US$ (‘000). For each disaster, the registered figure corresponds to the damage value at the moment of the event, i.e. the figures are shown true to the year of the event.