Natural disasters have caused more than $ 7 trillion in economic damage worldwide since 1900, with floods and storms accounting for nearly 60% of the estimated total.
The death toll from such natural calamities, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, droughts, heatwaves and wildfires have topped eight million from the period 1900 to 2015, according to recent findings presented at a meeting of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna.
“Flooding is the key driver” for economic loss and death”, says James Daniell, an Australian risk engineer at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, who has catalogued 35,000 disasters over 115 years, the largest such database in existence. According to Daniell, around 40%, of the economic damage, and just over half the loss of life was the result of flooding. The frequency of other natural disasters, such as the earthquakes, which accounted for over 25% of losses, and volcanoes, which caused nearly 1% have remained fairly constant over time.
The study finally summarizes that overall; the annual cost of economic losses due to natural disaster has increased progressively over time.