Historical Hazards

The occurrence of climate-related disasters in Latin America has already increased by a factor of 2.4 since 1970. Panama experiences a series of extreme weather events including intense and protracted rainfalls, windstorms, floods, droughts, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, tropical cyclones, tsunamis, and El Nino Southern Oscillation impacts. Between 1982 and 2008, Panama was struck by 32 natural disaster events, with total economic damages totaling an estimated US$86 million. In addition, loss of human life during these events totaled 249. Panama ranks 14th among countries most exposed to multiple hazards based on land area. The country has 15 percent of its total area exposed and 12.5 percent of its total population vulnerable to two or more hazards. In addition, Panama ranks 35th among countries with the highest percentage of total population considered at relatively high mortality risk from multiple hazards.

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. It allows for a 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.