Vulnerability

The Republic of Moldova is subject to natural hazards including drought, floods, severe weather, earthquakes, and landslides. Moldova has high vulnerability to natural hazards like droughts, late spring frosts, hail, floods, and severe storms. These natural hazards can have a severe impact on agricultural production, with average annual losses from hydrometeorological hazards comprising about three percent of gross domestic product. Natural hazards have a severe impact upon the rural population of Moldova, which accounts for 60 percent of the population and is highly dependent on agriculture.

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.

Metadata

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.


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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
  • Historically Moldova has experienced drought once every three to 10 years, depending on geographic location. Average annual losses between 1996 and 2004 due to drought were around $19 million per year.
  • In 2008 the country experienced severe torrential rains, which together with releases from upstream in Ukraine, led to flooding in both the northern and southern areas of the country. Moldova incurred $120 million in losses from this event.
  • Torrential rains, hail, wind, and frost occur annually within localized areas. Average annual damages accruing from these have been estimated at over $7.5 million. The severity and frequency of extreme events has increased over time (e.g., the droughts of 2007 and 2012 and heavy flooding in 2008), and are predicted to continue to grow.
  • Moldova is situated in the Vrancea seismic zone (also encompassing Romania) and regularly experiences earthquakes. Over the past 200 years, Moldova has suffered sixteen major earthquakes of force 7–8 on the Richter Scale. For example, the 1986 earthquake in Chisinau injured 261 people and left 1,200 homeless, with direct and indirect losses reached $1.2 billion.
  • In Moldova, 43.7% of settlements are threatened by landslides, and they are increasing every year. Landslides are mainly linked to subsidence from large construction works and widespread deforestation, rather than heavy rainfall events. Most damages are related to local displacement, which may result from damage to buildings and other assets, and loss of cropland. Average annual losses from them amount to $1.3 million.

More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.

  • Droughts, heavy rains and flooding, and other natural hazards can have a severe impact on agricultural production (approximately three percent of gross domestic product).
  • Prepare for increased drought – diversify crop resources and identify action plans for managing food production and water needs.
  • Natural hazards impact the rural population.
  • Severe weather events could cause large estimated annual damages.
  • Greater monitoring of all types of natural hazards.