Report: Disasters Are Getting Worse – But More Lives Have Been Saved
Over the past 50 years, natural disasters have increased by a factor of five, according to the latest data from the World Meteorological Organization – causing over 2 million deaths and $3.64 trillion in losses.
The most recent WMO Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970-2019) keeps track of the deaths and damages caused by natural hazards. During the 1970-2019 period, weather, climate and water hazards accounted for 50% of disasters, 45% of reported deaths and 74% of economic losses – primarily in developing countries.
The increase in disasters has increased by a factor of five in the past 50 years due to climate change, extreme weather and improved reporting. But there is some good news. Thanks to improved early warnings and disaster management, the number of deaths has decreased nearly three-fold, falling from an average of 170 deaths per day in the 1970s through the 90s, down to 40 deaths per day by the 2010s.
“Behind the stark statistics, lies a message of hope,” says WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas. “Improved multi-hazard early warning systems have led to a significant reduction in mortality. Quite simply, we are better than ever before at saving lives.”
Click here to read the full report.