Weather disasters have increased FIVE-fold over the last 50 years and killed an average of 115 people a day, sobering UN report reveals
Weather-related disasters such as Hurricane Ida are striking four to five times more often than they did 50 years ago, a sobering UN report warned today. Destructive events including storms, flooding and drought are causing seven times more damage than in the 1970s, but they're killing far fewer people, according to the UN's World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). In the 1970s and 1980s, these events killed an average of about 170 people a day worldwide, but in the 2010s that dropped to about 40 per day. The WMO's report looks at more than 11,000 weather disasters between 1970 and 2019, based on data from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. A disaster related to a weather, climate or water hazard occurred every day on average over the past 50 years – killing 115 people and causing $202 million (£146 million) in losses daily, it found. In total, just over 2 million deaths and $3.64 trillion (£2.64 trillion) in losses were attributed to such catastrophes.
The report follows Hurricane Ida and drought-worsened wildfires in the US, as well as catastrophic floods in mainland Europe this summer.'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,' said WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas in the new report's foreword. 'That means more heatwaves, drought and forest fires such as those we have observed recently in Europe and North America. 'We have more water vapour in the atmosphere, which is exacerbating extreme rainfall and deadly flooding. 'The warming of the oceans has affected the frequency and area of existence of the most intense tropical storms.' From 1970 to 2019, weather, climate and water hazards accounted for 50 per cent of all disasters, 45 per cent of all reported deaths and 74 per cent of all reported economic losses. More than 91 per cent of these deaths occurred in developing countries. Source