Malaysia’s geographic location and low poverty rates mean both its risk and vulnerability to natural hazards are lower than some of its Southeast Asian neighbours. Nonetheless, Malaysia suffers high average annual losses. In 2014 UNISDR estimated these at around $1.3 billion. While Malaysia can experience drought, landslides, earthquakes and storm surges, the large majority of its losses are attributable to flooding. Malaysia’s climate also makes the country particularly vulnerable to vector-borne diseases. Recognising these threats Malaysia’s NDC (2016) reports that the government have made a sustained investment in the health sector, with a particular focus on adapting to climate change.

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
  • Over the past decade Malaysia has faced persistent occurrence of dengue fever in urban areas, climate change is expected to increase its prevalence.
  • Flood risk in urban areas is rising. Growing urban populations are particularly exposed to flash floods driven by high intensity rainfall.
  • Coastal vulnerability has been increasing as a result of sea-level rise. Issues such as storm surge, coastal erosion and saline intrusion are growing in threat.
  • No clear direction of change has been measured in the frequency and intensity of natural hazards in Malaysia.
  • Occurrence of extremely hot, dry and wet years have tended to correlate with El Niño and La Niña climate patterns and the climate change signal is yet to be understood.
  • High levels of uncertainty around future changes in precipitation and extreme events prevent the development of an effective country’s disaster risk management strategy.
  • The integration of climate change and disaster risk reduction considerations within urban planning and management is regarded as a priority both to ensure healthy population, and to prevent disruption of economic activity.