4 January 2013, 21:57

2012 Recap. Natural disasters’ damage reaches $140 bln in 2012

2012 Recap. Natural disasters’ damage reaches $140 bln in 2012

According to the report published by the leading global reinsurer Swiss Re, the damage caused by the natural disasters man caused disasters in 2012 has reached almost $140 billion. For reference in 2011 this figure was $120 billion.

The report shows that this year was difficult first of all for the US: a draught, several tornadoes and the Sandy hurricane in October caused damage worth $45 billion. By the way the Sandy hurricane that hit the US was not very strong, Vladimir Klimenko, head of the laboratory of the global energy issues at the Moscow Technical University says.

“Sandy was not even the strongest hurricane this year let alone the history. Though it might seem strange but developed countries turn to be quite unprepared to withstand natural disasters. Such disasters lead to serious material losses. In developing countries material damage is smaller but human losses are much bigger.”

It is important to remember that the report has been released by the reinsurer and is based on the data provided by insurance companies, Alexei Kokroin, head of the Climate and Energy program of the World Wildlife Fund stresses.

“The typhoon in the US caused a very serious damage to the property but all this property was insured and the sums of the insurances were quite high. If a similar disaster had hit Bangkok the damage could have been bigger simply most of the property there is not insured. That is why such damage cannot be expressed in monetary terms.”

Other 2012 natural disasters include floods in Italy, the UK and the countries of the South Asian region, earthquakes in Indonesia, Guatemala, Mexico, volcano eruptions on Kamchatka and in New Zealand.

In general the number of disasters has not increased this year. It is the number of abnormal weather phenomena that has increased. Heavy rainfalls, snowfalls, frosts, draughts occurred regularly all over the world. Alexei Kokorin attributes it to climate misbalance on our planet.

“If we study a report of the Russian meteorological service we will see that the precipitation volume was the same as in previous years but precipitation fall has become very lop-sided. Roughly speaking, Moscow now has two heavy snowfalls instead of five small ones. Not only Russia. In Africa dry regions receive two heavy rainfalls which are followed by a long-term draught.”

However the world has managed to avoid end of the world which was expected December 21 according to the Maya calendar. Luckily, it did not happen.

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