Singapore is setting up an analytics platform that could predict losses from natural disasters across South East Asia.

The Natural Catastrophe Data and Analytics Exchange will look at data on earthquakes, typhoons and floods from Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila and Taipei.

It will analyse national and private sector data on how exposed these cities are to disasters and the losses they could sustain as a result.

The project is led by Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Agency for Science, Technology and Research, in partnership with private sector insurance companies.

Economic losses and casualties from disasters are particularly high in the region, NTU said. For instance, Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 left 6,300 people dead and losses worth US$1.9 billion in the Philippines. Floods in Indonesia displace people from their homes and disrupt businesses every year.

At the same time, the quality and availability of data for calculating disaster risks is poor, NTU added. “With such a lack of data standards and updated catastrophe models, governments may have to bear the bulk of catastrophe costs.” it said.

The project aims to plug the gaps by providing quality data to accurately calculate disaster risks, helping countries act in advance to reduce losses.

Image by DFID, used under CC BY 2.0