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For natural disasters, Israel is one of the world's safest places: report

i24NEWS

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An injured Nepalese woman arrives on stretcher to be treated at the Israeli field hospital in Kathmandu on May 1, 2015, following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the Himalayan nation on April 25
Menahem Kahana / AFPAn injured Nepalese woman arrives on stretcher to be treated at the Israeli field hospital in Kathmandu on May 1, 2015, following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the Himalayan nation on April 25

Vanuatu ranked as the riskiest place in the world to live, while Qatar came in as the safest

A new report says that Israel is one of the safest places in the world to live — at least when it comes to natural disasters.

The World Risk Report for 2015, produced by the United Nations University, as the 157th least risky country to live, out of 171. Qatar rated as the safest country to live in as far as natural disasters are concerned.

Natural disasters occur sporadically in Israel. The last major catastrophe came in 2010 with the Mount Carmel forest fire, when around 9,900 acres of forest were destroyed in a five-day blaze that claimed 19 lives and forced the evacuation of 17,000 people.

Israel experiences minor earthquakes on a fairly regular basis, that generally fail to cause any damage. Nonetheless, the country is struck by a devastating quake around once every 100 years, and the State Comptroller last year warned that the country is dramatically underprepared for coping with natural disasters.

The World Risk Report put Vanuatu as country with the highest risk of natural disasters. The Pacific island was last year struck by a volcanic eruption, an earthquake and a cyclone in the space of a few weeks, the Guardian reports.

And Vanuatu isn't the only high-risk island — eight of the top 15 riskiest countries are island nations. Tonga and the Philippines round out the top three, being exposed to flooding, cyclones and rising sea levels, the Guardian says.

Guatemala was the fourth-riskiest country in which to live, frequently hit by floods and earthquakes. The Solomon Islands came in fifth, with the South Pacific locale also facing food security issues.

The report also highlights the widespread risk of drought and food shortages in certain areas in eastern and southern Africa.