Indicator natural hazards

Fatalities caused by floods, debris flows, landslides, fall processes and avalanches

Natural hazard events can claim human lives. The number of fatalities depends, first, on the severity of the events and, second, on individual behaviour and the measures taken to provide protection against natural hazards. Thus this indicator demonstrates the success of preventive measures and the level of hazard-appropriate behaviour among the affected populations.

Assessment of the state
good good
Assessment of the trend
positive positive
fall processes 2017: 8 debris flows 2016: 2 floods 2015: 2 landslides 2014: 5 floods 2014: 1 fall processes 2013: 2 floods 2013: 2 fall processes 2012: 5 fall processes 2011: 1 floods 2009: 2 floods 2007: 4 fall processes 2006: 3 debris flows 2006: 2 floods 2006: 1 fall processes 2005: 1 landslides 2005: 2 debris flows 2005: 2 floods 2005: 3 floods 2004: 1 fall processes 2003: 3 floods 2003: 1 fall processes 2002: 1 landslides 2002: 3 fall processes 2001: 1 landslides 2000: 16 debris flows 2000: 3 floods 2000: 1 fall processes 1999: 1 landslides 1999: 1 floods 1999: 2 fall processes 1998: 2 floods 1998: 1 floods 1996: 1 debris flows 1995: 2 floods 1993: 8 debris flows 1992: 2 floods 1992: 1 landslides 1991: 1 debris flows 1991: 2 floods 1991: 1 landslides 1990: 4 floods 1988: 1 landslides 1987: 1 debris flows 1987: 1 floods 1987: 6 fall processes 1986: 2 landslides 1986: 2 floods 1986: 2 fall processes 1984: 1 fall processes 1983: 1 fall processes 1982: 1 floods 1982: 1 landslides 1981: 1 debris flows 1981: 6 floods 1981: 1 floods 1980: 2 fall processes 1979: 1 landslides 1978: 4 floods 1978: 9 floods 1977: 4 landslides 1976: 2 floods 1976: 1 floods 1975: 2 fall processes 1973: 1 floods 1973: 1 fall processes 1972: 2 fall processes 1971: 1 fall processes 1970: 1 floods 1970: 9 fall processes 1969: 6 floods 1969: 1 fall processes 1968: 1 landslides 1968: 2 floods 1968: 5 fall processes 1967: 1 floods 1967: 3 fall processes 1966: 5 fall processes 1965: 3 landslides 1965: 1 floods 1965: 4 fall processes 1964: 1 landslides 1964: 1 fall processes 1963: 1 floods 1963: 4 fall processes 1961: 5 floods 1961: 3 fall processes 1960: 6 floods 1960: 2 fall processes 1959: 2 landslides 1959: 1 fall processes 1958: 5 landslides 1958: 1 floods 1958: 1 fall processes 1957: 4 landslides 1957: 1 floods 1957: 6 fall processes 1956: 3 floods 1956: 3 fall processes 1955: 3 floods 1955: 1 floods 1954: 3 floods 1953: 1 fall processes 1952: 3 floods 1952: 2 fall processes 1951: 1 landslides 1951: 2 floods 1951: 8 fall processes 1950: 2 floods 1950: 1 fall processes 1949: 2 landslides 1949: 2 floods 1948: 1 floods 1947: 1 landslides 1946: 1 floods 1946: 2

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: WSL
Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2016/17: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2016/17: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2015/16: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2015/16: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2014/15: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2014/15: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2013/14: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2013/14: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2012/13: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2012/13: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2011/12: 3 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2011/12: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2010/11: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2010/11: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2009/10: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2009/10: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2008/09: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2008/09: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2007/08: 2 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2007/08: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2006/07: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2006/07: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2005/06: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2005/06: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2004/05: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2004/05: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2003/04: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2003/04: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2002/03: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2002/03: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2001/02: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2001/02: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 2000/01: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 2000/01: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1999/00: 2 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1999/00: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1998/99: 8 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1998/99: 9 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1997/98: 2 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1997/98: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1996/97: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1996/97: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1995/96: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1995/96: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1994/95: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1994/95: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1993/94: 2 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1993/94: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1992/93: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1992/93: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1991/92: 6 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1991/92: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1990/91: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1990/91: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1989/90: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1989/90: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1988/89: 2 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1988/89: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1987/88: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1987/88: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1986/87: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1986/87: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1985/86: 2 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1985/86: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1984/85: 15 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1984/85: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1983/84: 8 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1983/84: 7 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1982/83: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1982/83: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1981/82: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1981/82: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1980/81: 2 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1980/81: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1979/80: 5 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1979/80: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1978/79: 3 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1978/79: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1977/78: 7 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1977/78: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1976/77: 5 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1976/77: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1975/76: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1975/76: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1974/75: 5 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1974/75: 10 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1973/74: 3 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1973/74: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1972/73: 5 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1972/73: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1971/72: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1971/72: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1970/71: 7 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1970/71: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1969/70: 4 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1969/70: 30 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1968/69: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1968/69: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1967/68: 5 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1967/68: 25 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1966/67: 5 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1966/67: 9 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1965/66: 9 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1965/66: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1964/65: 6 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1964/65: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1963/64: 4 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1963/64: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1962/63: 6 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1962/63: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1961/62: 12 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1961/62: 2 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1960/61: 7 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1960/61: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1959/60: 5 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1959/60: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1958/59: 5 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1958/59: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1957/58: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1957/58: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1956/57: 5 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1956/57: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1955/56: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1955/56: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1954/55: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1954/55: 5 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1953/54: 9 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1953/54: 14 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1952/53: 7 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1952/53: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1951/52: 8 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1951/52: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1950/51: 18 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1950/51: 77 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1949/50: 2 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1949/50: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1948/49: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1948/49: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1947/48: 6 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1947/48: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1946/47: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1946/47: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1945/46: 3 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1945/46: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1944/45: 13 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1944/45: 15 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1943/44: 11 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1943/44: 2 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1942/43: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1942/43: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1941/42: 15 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1941/42: 22 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1940/41: 6 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1940/41: 4 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1939/40: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1939/40: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1938/39: 3 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1938/39: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1937/38: 1 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1937/38: 0 Fatalities caused by  avalanches on transportation routes 1936/37: 4 Fatalities caused by  avalanches in buildings 1936/37: 0

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: SLF
Comment

Between 1946 and 2018 floods claimed a total of 123 lives, debris flows claimed 22 , landslides claimed 54 and fall processes claimed 93. Since 1946 an average of 2.7 fatalities were recorded annually as a result of floods, debris flows and landslides and 1.3 were recorded to fall processes. If extreme hazard events, for example the Goldau rockfall of 1806, are excluded, this figure has scarcely changed since the 19th century. The average number of fatalities for the period 1900 to 1971 alone is lower because fewer severe natural hazard events were recorded.

Avalanches claimed an average of 6.4 lives per year in the period 1936/37 - 2016/17. This figure does not include fatalities in open terrain (off-piste skiers and tourers).

Compared to the 19th century, the average number of fatalities has remained stable (Floods, debris flows, landslides and fall processes until 1945). Thus, in view of the considerable increase in the population, it has actually declined as a proportion of the total population. This development is not due to the fact that there are fewer severe natural hazard events today, but to the fact that numerous hydraulic engineering and forestry protection measures were implemented over the past 100 years. It also reflects the improvement in organisational measures and the comprehensive possibilities available today for alerting and rescuing people. The number of fatalities caused by natural hazards is at a low level today, which must be maintained.

Method

As mandated by the FOEN, the Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL has been systematically collecting data on storm damage in Switzerland since 1972. The hazard processes floods, debris flows, landslides and fall processes (since 2002) are surveyed. Up to now, the data collected has only included fatalities reported in connection with material damage caused by the processes mentioned above.

In order to conduct a more comprehensive survey, the WSL created a new database in 2015 based on systematic newspaper research to record all fatalities caused by floods, landslides, debris flows, rockfall, windstorms, lightning strikes, avalanches and other (rare) events such as earthquakes and ice avalanches since 1946. It includes all fatalities of people who had unwittingly or unintentionally exposed themselves to an obvious risk. Since 2015, statistics is compiled using this method. Avalanche fatalities are recorded separately by the SLF).

For the period prior to 1946, the statistics are completed by the number of fatalities reported in the historical record of damage caused by weather events in Switzerland (WSL Report 330) published by the WSL in 1991. The data, although incomplete, shows the number of fatalities before 1946 to be just as high as today if not higher despite a significantly lower population back then.

A complete overview of fatalities caused by natural hazards is provided on the Portal EnviDat.

 
Last updated on: 27.03.2019

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