Tropical cyclones (TCs) cause devastating losses of lives and properties every year across the globe. This paper makes use of detailed geographic data on historical TCs and socio-economic conditions for both coastal and inland regions to assess the TC risk in China. Specifically, the mitigation capacity is integrated into the ‘Hazard–Exposure–Vulnerability’ (HEV) framework, and the TC risks are calculated by using the multiplicative/divisive and additive/subtractive formulae based on indicators of hazards, exposure, vulnerability and mitigation. The estimated TC risks are furthermore validated by using the data of direct economic losses and casualties. The results show that coastal areas in China are generally dominated by high TC risks and that inland areas also suffer considerably due to TC-induced secondary disasters. The TC risks calculated by the additive/subtractive formula can better capture the density of direct economic losses and casualties compared with those calculated by the multiplicative/divisive formula. TC hazard plays an important role in determining TC risks in South China, whereas exposure and mitigation play a critical part in determining TC risks in North China. Overall, the consideration of mitigation capacity makes the calculated TC risks more consistent with the magnitude of direct economic losses and casualties.

  • Illustrations of indictors of typical cyclone hazard, exposure, vulnerability and mitigation in mainland China.

  • Incorporation of mitigation capacity into the assessment of tropical cyclone risks for coastal and inland regions.

  • Validation of the results by using the direct economic losses and casualties in China during 2004–2017.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
This content is only available as a PDF.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits copying and redistribution for non-commercial purposes with no derivatives, provided the original work is properly cited (

Supplementary data