China's Minister of Civil Affairs H.E. Mr. Huang Shuxian (right) with the UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Robert Glasser (photo: UNISDR)
BEIJING, 12 May 2017
– The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Robert Glasser, today marked China’s National Disaster Risk Reduction Day by expressing his condolences on the loss of at least eight lives in yesterday’s earthquake in Xinjiang Province and praising the country’s commitment to keeping economic losses at 1.3% of GDP or below.
The National Day falls on the anniversary of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in which 68,712 people died and 17,912 are listed as missing. China covers 7% of the world’s land mass but suffers one-third of all recorded earthquakes.
Mr. Glasser said: “Yesterday’s earthquake was a reminder that China is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world but is also a role model for others to follow. The country has adopted the global plan for reducing disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and is unique in setting a target of 1.3% of GDP for economic losses from disasters.
“Escalating economic losses from disasters will be a hot topic for debate at the 5th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction which will open in Cancun, Mexico, on May 24. As we examine ways to protect housing and critical infrastructure from exposure to earthquakes and extreme weather events, China has many valuable lessons and experiences to share.”