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Natural disasters at decade low in 2009-UN report

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Richard Cowan
Reuters
Tuesday, Dec 15th, 2009

The world this year suffered the fewest number of natural disasters in a decade, but floods, droughts and other extreme weather continued to account for most of the deaths and economic losses, according to a United Nations report released on Monday.

There were 245 natural disasters recorded this year, down from the decade high of 434 in 2005, said the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

The figures were released mid-way through an international climate conference in which 192 nations hope to nail down new firm targets for reducing carbon pollution, which is blamed for a long-term trend in more extreme weather.

Of the 245 disasters, 224 were weather-related and accounted for 7,0000 deaths out of the 8,900, according to the preliminary figures. The weather-related deaths, which exclude geological events such as earthquakes and volcanoes, caused $15 billion in damages, out of a total of $19 billion, the report said.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 5:20 am





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