GENEVA, January 22 (RIA Novosti) - Natural disasters claimed the lives of 235,816 people worldwide in 2008, the head of the UN Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) said on Thursday.
Salvano Briceno said the bulk of the deaths - 225,000 - occurred in two major natural disasters in May. According to recent statistics, 138,166 people were killed when Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar and a quake in the Chinese province of Sichuan resulted in 87,476 deaths.
Another 319 natural disasters, including flash floods in India in July-August and a cold spell in Afghanistan in January, claimed a total of 10,000 lives.
A total of 211 million people were affected. The natural disasters caused damage estimated at $181 billion.