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UN warns of sharp rise in natural disasters over the past 20 years

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Between 2000 and 2019, the world saw a sharp increase in natural disasters, which claimed more than one million lives and resulted in trillions of dollars of economic losses, according to a UN report published on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.

According to the report, 7,348 major disasters were recorded in the period 2000 to 2019, claiming 1.23 million lives, affecting 4.2 billion people and causing economic losses of about $2.97 trillion.

“It’s a sharp increase over the previous twenty years,” the report says.

It states that between 1980 and 1999, 4,212 natural hazard-related disasters worldwide claimed approximately 1.19 million lives and affected 3.25 billion people, resulting in approximately $1.63 trillion in economic losses.

“The difference is explained by an increase in climate-related disasters, including extreme weather events: from 3,656 climate-related events (1980-1999) to 6,681 such disasters in the period 2000-2019,” the statement explains.

According to the UN, in the last twenty years, the number of major floods doubled from 1,389 to 3,254, while the incidence of storms increased from 1,457 to 2,034.

The report also reports significant increases in droughts, wildfires and extreme temperature events.

Earthquakes and tsunamis also increased, killing more people than any of the other natural disasters discussed in the report.

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