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India lost $80 bn due to disasters in last 20 years: UN report

India Today logo India Today 11-10-2018 Anand Patel

At a time when Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are facing the wrath of cyclone Titli, the United Nations in a report has said India lost $80 billion to natural disasters over the past 20 years.

The report was released on Wednesday by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) ahead of the International Day for Disaster Reduction on October 13.

The report says that in the past 20 years, the overall direct economic loss from climate-related disasters across the world has witnessed a 151 per cent increase.

a close up of an old building: The report ranks India among the top five countries that have suffered losses due to disasters. Others are: US, China, Japan and Puerto Rico. © Anand Patel The report ranks India among the top five countries that have suffered losses due to disasters. Others are: US, China, Japan and Puerto Rico.

The report has been jointly prepared by UNISDR and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). It is titled 'Report on Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters for 1998-2017', and ranks India among the top five countries that have suffered losses due to disasters.

At $944.8 billion, the United States has suffered the greatest losses due to disasters in the past 20 years. This is followed by China ($492.2 billion), Japan ($376.3 billion), India ($ 79.5 billion) and Puerto Rico ($ 71.7 billion).

In terms of occurrences, climate-related disasters also dominate the picture, accounting for 91 per cent of all 7,255 major recorded events between 1998 and 2017. Floods (43.4 per cent) and storms (28.2 per cent) are the two most frequently occurring disasters.

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The UN report says that between 1998 and 2017, disaster-hit countries reported direct economic losses of $2.9 trillion, of which climate-related disasters accounted for $2.2 trillion (77 per cent).

© Getty

Besides this, 1.3 million people lost their lives and 4.4 billion people were injured, rendered homeless, displaced or were in need of emergency assistance. A total of 563 earthquakes, including those related to tsunamis, accounted for 56 per cent of the total deaths (7,47,234 people).

Speaking about the report, UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Disaster Reduction, Mami Mizutori, said, "This report highlights key trends over the past 40 years. The report's analysis makes it clear that economic losses from extreme weather events are unsustainable and a major brake on eradicating poverty in hazard exposed parts of the world."

In pics: Kerela floods

(Slideshow provided by The Indian Express)

Also watch: Are we losing the battle against global warming?

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(Video provided by NDTV)

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