A new report by the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), showed that 318 natural disasters occurred last year, of which 122 countries were affected in 2017.

Floods and hurricanes, as well as landslides and a number of other natural disasters, claimed 68,000 annual lives between 2007 and 2016. 

The year 2017, which claimed the lives of ‘only’  9,503 people, was not so deadly but it turned out to be the second most costly in history, according to CRED, which estimated economic damage at $314 billion.

That was reflected in the impact of three hurricanesHarvey ($95 billion), Irma ($66 billion) and Maria ($69 billion), affecting the USA and especially the Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico and Dutch/French St.Maarten.

“Nearly 60% of people affected by disasters in 2017 were affected by floods, while 85% of economic damages were due to storms.”

China was the most disaster-affected country, according to CRED. In 2017, similar to previous years, the Asian continent experienced the highest disaster occurrence (43% of the total).

The report also highlighted that the year with the highest economic losses was 2011 (at $400 billion) mainly due to the War in Syria and Earthquakes or Tsunamis in Japan.

In terms of human impact, India witnessed the highest burden of natural disasters with almost 2,300 deaths and 22.5 million people affected (mostly by floods and storms).

RT.com / Crickey Environment Conservation Society 2018.

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