Bulgaria has risk of river flooding, urban flooding, and wildfire. It has a medium risk of experiencing earthquakes, water scarcity, and extreme heat, and low to very low risk of landslides, coastal flooding, and storms. Flooding is the natural hazard with highest incidence. Risks for flooding is higher near river systems while risk for drought and wildfire is higher in the continental areas. High levels of inequality and access to health systems, cooling systems, and other services could influence people’s ability to endure hazards.

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.

Natural Hazard Statistics

The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.


Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards.

Natural Hazard / Development Nexus

Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.



Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals. 

This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.

Key Vulnerabilities
  • Areas along major rivers are most exposed to flooding risk. Recent modeling exercises estimate that 50-year return period floods (2% probability of occurring each year, once every 50 years) could affect $2 billion of GDP which could double or quadruple by 2080 depending on different climate change and socioeconomic projections (GFDRR Profile, 2017).
  • Wildfire hazards in Bulgaria are high. There is a 50% chance of encountering weather that would lead to wildfire. Wildfire risks are especially high in areas with Mediterranean and continental climate where long periods with little rainfall increase the probability of wildfires. Climate change is projected to increase the conditions that could support fires therefore, increasing the risks for loss of life, threat to ecosystems, and property damage.
  • Temperature related hazards could have negative impacts to human health if the option for behavioral adaptation through air conditioning is not available. As the percentage of urban population increases, special attention should be taken to urban challenges such as heat island effects.
  • Flooding affects 80,000 people annually and $400 million in GDP, on average.
  • Areas along major rivers are most exposed to flooding risk although provinces of Jambol, Pazardzhik, and Plovdiv have the highest flood risk.
  • Bulgaria has been impacted by European heatwaves, most recently experiencing heat waves in 2007 and 2010
  • Wildfires during dry season have caused evacuations as was the case with wildfires near the Kresna George forest in 2017.
  • Investing in early warning systems and capacity building while also promoting inter-agency knowledge could support a more holistic approach to addressing exposure and vulnerabilities to projected hazards caused or intensified by climate change.
  • Strategies should be considered at both national and local levels and adapted to the unique needs of each region and population.