Weather disasters increased by fivefold in 50 years:UN

Geneva, Sep 1 (EFE).- The number of weather disasters has increased by fivefold in the past 50 years and killed over 2 million people across the globe, the UN World Meteorological Organization warned Wednesday.

More than 91% of these deaths occurred in developing countries, according to the UN.

“The number of weather, climate and water extremes are increasing and will become more frequent and severe in many parts of the world as a result of climate change,” WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas said.

Between 1970 and 2019, over 11,000 disasters were documented globally, according to WMO.

Climate and water hazards have been the most destructive, accounting for 50% of disasters, 45% of reported deaths and 74% of all reported economic losses.

The top ten disasters include droughts, which have caused some 650,000 deaths, storms, causing over 570,000 deaths and flooding, which have caused some 58,700 deaths.

The destruction caused by these extreme weather events have cost some US$ 3.64 trillion in losses.

“Economic losses are mounting as exposure increases,” Taalas warned.

Three of the costliest disasters occurred in 2017, with Hurricane Harvey costing $96.9 billion, Hurricane Maria $69.4 billion and Hurricane Irma $ 58.2 billion.

The three hurricanes alone accounted for 35% of total economic losses between 1970 and 2019.

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