WMO’s Updated Figures of Mortality and Economic Losses from Natural Hazards

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently released the updated data in the Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water-related hazards.

Key Findings:

  • Bangladesh had the highest number of climate-related casualties between 1970 and 2021. With 520,758 deaths due to 281 events, the country has experienced the devastating consequences of extreme weather conditions.
  • India recorded a total of 138,377 casualties during the same period.
  • Myanmar recorded the third-highest number of human casualties in Asia. The devastating Cyclone Nargis that struck its Irrawaddy delta region in 2008 caused the majority of casualties, resulting in the loss of 138,366 lives.
  • China also faced significant casualties due to climate-related events. With 88,457 deaths resulting from 740 events, China has experienced the destructive power of extreme weather. Notably, a flood in 1975 accounted for almost a quarter of the casualties.
  • On a global scale, an astonishing 11,778 reported disasters occurred between 1970 and 2021, all attributed to extreme weather, climate, and water-related events. These events resulted in over 2 million deaths and $4.3 trillion in economic losses. Developing countries bore the brunt of over 90% of these casualties.
  • Asia reported the highest number of disasters related to weather, climate, and water extremes. With 3,612 reported disasters, the continent experienced 984,263 deaths, accounting for 47% of all deaths worldwide. Tropical cyclones emerged as the leading cause of reported deaths in Asia.
  • After Asia, the region comprising North America, Central America, and the Caribbean had the second-highest number of extreme weather events. These events resulted in 77,454 deaths and $2 trillion in economic losses. Storm-related disasters, including tropical cyclones, contributed significantly to the economic losses in this region.
  • Across the globe, storm-related disasters, particularly tropical cyclones, accounted for the majority of reported economic losses. The destructive power of these storms not only resulted in loss of life but also caused significant damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and economies.



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