Overall risks from climate-related impacts are evaluated based on the interaction of climate-related hazards (including hazardous events and trends) with the vulnerability of communities (susceptibility to harm and lack of capacity to adapt), and exposure of human and natural systems. Changes in both the climate system and socioeconomic processes -including adaptation and mitigation actions- are drivers of hazards, exposure, and vulnerability (IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, 2014).

Turkmenistan is at risk to several natural hazards, including floods and mudflows, droughts, and earthquakes, though earthquakes are the dominant risk in Turkmenistan.

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
  • Floods and mudflows often occur in mountain basins of small rivers, flowing down from southwestern, northwestern, and northeastern slopes. Short destructive floods and mudflows frequently occur in mountain and piedmont areas in spring.
  • The eastern and central sections of the Kopet Dagh and Kugitangau Mountains contain around 180 channels where mudslides occur. Catastrophic mudflows were registered in this area in 1963, 1968, 1972, 1981, and 1986. During the years 1996-2005 flash runoffs and mud floods causing substantial economic losses occurred on 30 occasions. Analysis of the number of flash runoffs, mud floods and heavy rainfalls during the period 1986-1995 indicate a trend towards increase of occurrences.
  • Since the Kara Kum Desert occupies 80 percent of the country, droughts represent a critical problem for Turkmenistan. There are currently no reliable drought forecasts for the country, however.
  • The country lies in a region with low to high seismic hazard. The two primary seismic zones lie under the Turkmenbashi and Ashkhabad regions.
  • Periodicity of strong winds is at an annual average of 120 occurrences, while the average for intense heat rests at 50 per annum.

More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.

  • Turkmenistan is vulnerable to a number of disasters due to both natural hazards, including floods, earthquakes and landslides, and technological hazards, including transportation accidents. However, the reported disaster data for the past 20 years is very scarce.
  • Floods and mudslides have often impacted downstream areas. For example, the Terghap and Tedjen Rivers of Turkmenistan crested at three times their normal level during 1991-93 and inundated adjacent villages in the floodplain.
  • The quality of human health will experience the most detrimental effects as a result of climate change; a real threat of heat stroke is increasing with the increase in ambient temperature. Major manifestations in the degradation of human health also include cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases, renal, nervous system diseases, diabetes and epilepsy.
  • Almost all climate change models predict that the dry season will become longer and drier, creating the conditions for more forest fires. Climate change is also projected to increase the risk of forest fires, pests, and diseases.