Natural disasters are on the rise
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Ahead of the Paris conference on climate change, reports state that 90% of worldwide natural disasters are caused by weather, and have been increasing within the past couple of decades. Our world has seen to a growing number of tragedies that are mostly out of our control. The costs, in lives lost, homes destroyed, and global economy are on the rise.
The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) along with the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) analyzed data on natural disasters related to weather within the last couple of decades. They found that between 1995 and 2015, there were a total of 6,457 natural disasters around the world related to weather.
This meant that 600,000 lives were lost, and affected 4 billion people worldwide. Additionally between $250 and $300 billion were added to economic losses. Within the past two decades, the results have shown that 30,000 lives are lost yearly, and 205 million people are left without a home. According to Margareta Wahlström, who is head of UNISDR, their reports have shown that weather and climate are the main drivers of natural disasters.
And the world pays with loss of lives.
Asia takes the brunt of the hit due to the continents extensive river basins, land mass, and low-lying coastal areas. In fact, 2,495 of the total weather-related natural disasters occurred on the Asian continent, which led to 332,000 deaths, and 3.7 billion left homeless. The tragedies struck Asia the hardest.
The United States saw to 472 weather-related natural disasters within the same time period.
According to the researchers, floods are by far the most common, attributed to around 47% of the total. However, the biggest killer and the most perilous of them all are storms, such as hurricanes. Annually, they claimed over 12,000 lives, and 90% of them occur in poorer countries. Due to better prevention methods, warnings, and stronger structures, developed countries have a bigger advantage against the violent storms.
And, in spite of all the worrying statistics, the most concerning fact to arrive from the study is that these problems are on the rise. The annual average of weather-related natural disasters have increased by 14% in the last 10 years, and it’s nearly double to 30 years ago. While it cannot be firmly proven or determined how many of them are caused by climate change, it’s clear that the extreme weather we are facing might be a catalyst.
With this, it means the death toll, homelessness, and economic distress will not only continue, but it will increase.
The researchers recommend low-cost solutions, especially in developing countries who are most affected. This would include “afforestation, reforestation, floodplain zoning, embankments, better warnings and restoration of wetlands”, according to the UN’s study. Plans to combat global warming and climate change might also help, so all eyes are on the Paris conference.
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