January 20th, 2012
GENEVA – Natural disasters such as the huge earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan caused a record $366 billion (285 million euros) damage in 2011, the UN disaster risk reduction agency UNISDR said on Wednesday.
A total of 29,782 people were killed in 302 disasters last year, the body said. Storms and floods accounted for up to 70 percent of catastrophes but earthquakes were the biggest killer. However, the number of disasters was down on 2010, when 385 occurred, according to CRED figures.
In total 206 million people were affected by disasters last year. This includes 106 million hit by floods and 60 million by drought, mainly in the Horn of Africa.
“Reliable statistics and data should be a priority for better and more timely preventative action,” Guha-Sapir of CRED said.
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