Natural disasters killed over 22,000 in 2013

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GENEVA: Natural disasters claimed over 22,000 lives last year, with Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in the Philippines the deadliest of all, the Red Cross said on Thursday.

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In its annual report on disasters, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned that the outlook was bleak.

“Climate change is leading to damaged livelihoods and increased vulnerabilities. Natural hazards are also becoming more frequent and extreme,” said IFRC head Elhadj As Sy.

“The resulting stresses on social, physical and economic systems are shifting the world into a new era of risk,” he added.

Haiyan, which struck in November 2013, slammed a massive storm surge into the city of Tacloban and surrounding communities in the eastern province of Leyte.

At least 7,986 perished, the IFRC said.

The next-deadliest disaster was the June 2013 monsoon flooding in India, which killed 6,054 people.

Last year’s overall natural disaster death toll was 22,452, the IFRC said.
That was well under the 2004-2013 average of 97,954 per year.

It was also far below the decade’s peak year, 2004, when 242,829 people perished, mostly in the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

The number of people affected by disasters in 2013—almost 100 million, overwhelmingly in Asia —was also the lowest in a decade.

AFP

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