8 Sep 2011

Pacific countries among disaster risk's top 15

10:51 am on 8 September 2011

Vanuatu and Tonga head up a United Nations report on the countries most at risk in the event of a natural disaster, with two other Pacific nations among the top 15.

The Institute for Environment and Human Security World Risk Report 2011 assesses countries' exposure to natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis and climate change before looking at how equipped they are to cope with them.

It identifies Vanuatu as the most at-risk country and Tonga as the second, with Solomon Islands fourth and Papua New Guinea at 12th place.

The report cites reducing poverty and strengthening governance as two of the ways in which a country improve its chances of coping with a natural disaster.