Barbados named as one of the world's safest vacation spots

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Qatar, Malta and Barbados have been named as the countries where tourists are least likely to become caught up in a natural disaster.

Other destinations in the top 10 safest list include Iceland, the United Arab Emirates and Sweden. These are the countries deemed to be least at risk from floods, droughts, sea level rises, storms and earthquakes, according to a new report.

The destination most likely to see people caught up in a disaster was named as Vanuatu in the South Pacific, which was hit by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake Wednesday morning.

Based on data taken from its 2015 World Risk Report, the United Nations University for Environment and Human Security (UHU-EHS) revealed the countries that pose the highest and the lowest risks earlier this year - and the results have been illustrated by a 'heat map', which uses a sliding scale of colour from pale yellow to red to indicate risk levels. The darker colours indicate higher risks from natural disasters.

The ratings are calculated from events and how they've been dealt with in the past.

The report later highlighted hotspot regions, which included Oceania, Southeast Asia, Central America and the Southern Sahel.

Destinations in Europe remained fairly low risk, with the exception of the Netherlands, which had an 8.7 per cent risk, Albania, with 10.1 and Serbia with 7.53.

Not one of Europe's countries made the top 10 for the highest natural disaster risk, which was topped by Vanuatu with a 36.43 per cent chance.

A total of 173 countries were studied for the risk assessment, which also listed Saudi Arabia, Granada and Kiribati among those least likely to be affected.

Nine countries on the 'top 10 least safe' list - which consists of Vanuatu, Tonga, Philippines, Guatemala, Bangladesh, Solomon Islands, Costa Rica, Cambodia, El Salvador and Timor-Leste - are also situated close to the sea. The report highlights that they are particularly exposed to natural hazards such as floods, cyclones and sea-level rise. 

TOP 10 SAFEST COUNTRIES FOR NATURAL DISASTERS

1. Qatar - 0.1 per cent chance

2. Malta - 0.61 per cent chance

3. Barbados - 1.16 per cent chance

4. Saudi Arabia - 1.32 per cent chance

5. Granada - 1.44 per cent chance

6. Iceland - 1.55 per cent chance

7. Kiribati - 1.78 per cent chance

8. Bahrain - 1.81 per cent chance

9. United Arab Emirates - 2.1 per cent chance

10. Sweden - 2.26 per cent chance

TOP 10 LEAST SAFE COUNTRIES FOR NATURAL DISASTERS

1. Vanuatu - 36.43 per cent chance

2. Tonga - 28.23 per cent chance

3. Philippines - 27.52 per cent chance

4. Guatemala - 20.88 per cent chance 

5. Bangladesh - 19.81 per cent chance

6. Solomon Islands - 18.11 per cent chance

7. Costa Rica - 16.94 per cent chance

8. Cambodia - 16.9 per cent chance

9. El Salvador - 16.85 per cent chance

10. Timor-Leste - 16.37 per cent chance

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