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Natural disasters claim over 235,000 lives worldwide - UN


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.


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