Natural disasters in 2017: lower mortality, higher cost
A new report by the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) showed that 318 natural disasters which occurred last year and affected 122 countries have resulted in lower mortality than in previous years. Floods and hurricanes, as well as landslides and a number of other natural disasters, claimed 9,503 lives compared to the average annual figure of 68,000 lives between 2007 and 2016. The year was not so deadly but it turned out to be the second most costly, according to CRED, which estimated economic damage at $314 billion. That was reflected in the impact of three hurricanes – Harvey ($95 billion), Irma ($66 billion) and Maria ($69 billion), affecting the United States and the Caribbean. Almost 90 percent of deaths in 2017 were due to climatological, hydrological or meteorological disasters. Nearly 60 percent of people affected by disasters in 2017 were affected by floods, while 85 percent of economic damages were due to storms.