Natural Disasters Major Cause of Human Loss in Last 2 Decades: UN Report

90% of all major disasters have been caused due to weather disturbances, according to a 30-page United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) report. The rate of natural disasters has seen a 14% increase from 2005 to 2014 that was over two times higher than the 1985 to 1994 period as per the report.

According to the data collected by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reductions, over the last 20 years 6,457 storms, floods, heatwaves, droughts, hurricanes hit the world.

Worst Hit Countries

U.S. was the worst hit with 472 of these disasters and the nation had to bear a cost of $250-350 billion in repairing the damage every year. Wildfires alone have killed over 108,000 people in the U.S. and a loss of $11 billion has been reported due to the same.

China, India, Philippines and Indonesia are the other countries that have faced the massive aftermath of natural disasters. Over 606,000 people have been killed and over 4 billion injured since 1995 when the Climate Change Conference was held. In the last 10 years, more than 500,000 people succumbed to the natural disasters in Asia-Pacific region alone. A billion people have been killed due to the malnutrition and diseases caused by droughts. Temperature changes have also claimed over 164,000 lives and heatwaves killed 148,000 people.

Threat To World

Head of UNISDR Margareta Wahlstrom informed that climate was the main trigger for the increased risk of disasters and the whole world was paying heavily on that account. The monetary element has posed a major threat to development of many countries that are economically weaker but they have to face the brunt of nature and are helpless about it.

Global warming, melting snow caps and rising sea levels are contributing to these disasters and a resolve of reduction in emission of greenhouse gases to be signed at COP21 in Paris will be a major move towards saving the environment, she said.

Weather experts opine that ignoring the climate and weather changes has affected the world and if joint reforms were not taken, the world was at a great risk.

Source:HGN Prevention Web