Climate change: natural disasters have doubled around the world

Photo of author

By admin

Geneva | Climate change is the main cause of the doubling of natural disasters in the world in twenty years, the UN warned on Monday, signaling that natural disasters have killed more than 1.2 million people since 2000.

Over the past twenty years (2000-2019), 7,348 natural disasters have been recorded worldwide (at a cost estimated at nearly $ 3 trillion), almost twice as many as between 1980 and 1999, reveals a report of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNSDIR).

“COVID-19 has really made governments and the general public aware of the risks around us. They can see that if the Covid-19 is this terrible, the climate emergency can be even worse, ”UNSDIR Secretary General Mami Mizutori said at a press conference.

“Without a green recovery, we will only increase the climate emergency,” she insisted.

The report, which does not cover epidemiological risks such as the coronavirus, shows that the progression of natural disasters is mainly linked to the increase in climatic disasters, which went from 3656 (1980-1999) to 6681 (2000-2019) .

“We are knowingly destructive. This is the only conclusion that can be reached when reviewing the disasters that have occurred over the past twenty years, ”Ms. Mizutori noted.

The costs of natural disasters have been estimated at at least nearly $ 3 trillion since 2000 but the real amount is higher because many countries, especially in Africa and Asia, do not provide information on the economic impact.

Floods – which have doubled – and storms have been the most frequent disasters over the past two decades.

For the next decade, the UN believes the worst problem will be heat waves.

Asia most affected

Globally, the number of deaths hardly increased, going from 1.19 million over the period 180-1999 to 1.23 million over the period 2000-2019, while the number of people affected by these natural disasters jumped ( from 3.25 billion to 4 billion).

“More lives are being saved but more people are affected by the growing climate emergency. The risk of disaster is becoming systemic, ”said Ms. Mizutori, calling on the world to follow the recommendations of scientists and invest in programs to prevent and adapt to climate change.

Asia – where eight of the top ten countries with the highest number of disasters are located – is the worst affected region, followed by the Americas and Africa.

China and the United States are the countries that have reported the most disasters, followed by India, the Philippines and Indonesia. These countries have relatively high population densities in at-risk areas, the report says.

The years 2004, 2008 and 2010 were the devastating years, with over 200,000 deaths in each of these years. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was the deadliest, killing over 220,000 people.

The second biggest event took place in 2010, when an earthquake measuring 7 on the Richter scale killed more than 200,000 people and injured more than 300,000 others. In 2008, Cyclone Nargis killed some 138,000 people during its passage through Burma.

The report also notes that the average number of deaths worldwide between 2000 and 2019 was around 60,000 per year, and that since 2010, there has been no “mega-disaster” (over 100 000 dead).

Leave a Comment