The Human and Monetary Cost of ‘Natural’ Disasters 2008
Posted by msrb on October 8, 2008
Economic cost of natural disasters for the first six months of 2008 three times higher than the 10-year average
The Sichuan earthquake in China, Nargis cyclone in Burma and other ‘Natural’ disasters killed more people in first six months of 2008 than the Asian tsunami of 2004, the United Nations said.
“2008 is a terrible year. There have already been more victims than in the tsunami,” said Salvator Briceno, head of the UN’s disaster management agency (ISDR), on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction.
The disasters claimed about a quarter of million lives, and another 130 million were affected, he said.
Cyclone Nargis which struck Myanmar (Burma) in May calimed an estimated 140,000 lives, while the earthquake in China’s Sichuan province killed nearly 90,000.
Record floods in India and devastating hurricane season in the Caribbeans ontributed to the overall death toll.
The economic cost of natural disasters for the first six months of 2008 was estimated at about $40 billion, nearly three times the half-yearly average of $15bn during the past 10 years.