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Posts Tagged ‘natural catastrophes’

Brazil flood and mudslide deaths rise

January 14, 2011 Comments off

More than 420 people have now been killed by flooding and mudslides in south-eastern Brazil, officials say.

About 200 people have died in the town of Nova Friburgo, some 175 in Teresopolis and dozens more in Petropolis, media report. Thousands of people have been made homeless.

Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral blamed local governments for allowing poor building and illegal occupations.

President Dilma Rousseff has toured damaged areas in Nova Friburgo.

She vowed that there would be “firm action” by the government.

Ms Rousseff was accompanied by Mr Cabral and other politicians and later left for a press conference in Rio, where she spoke of the “dramatic” scenes she had seen.

Expressing solidarity with the victims, she said: “The suffering of the people is very great.”

‘It was hell’

Heavy rain fell early on Thursday as rescuers resumed their search but l Read more…

295,000 Deaths :950 Natural Disasters in 2010

January 5, 2011 Comments off

By: Munich RE

Jan. 3, 2011 – Several major catastrophes in 2010 resulted in substantial losses and an exceptionally high number of fatalities. The overall picture last year was dominated by an accumulation of severe earthquakes to an extent seldom experienced in recent decades. The high number of weather-related natural catastrophes and record temperatures both globally and in different regions of the world provide further indications of advancing climate change.

Altogether, a total of 950 natural catastrophes were recorded last year, nine-tenths of which were weather-related events like storms and floods. This total makes 2010 the year with the second-highest number of natural catastrophes since 1980, markedly exceeding the annual average for the last ten years (785 events per year). The overall losses amounted to around US$ 130bn, of which approximately US$ 37bn was insured. This puts 2010 among the six most loss-intensive years for the insurance industry since 1980. The level of overall losses was slightly above the high average of the past ten years.

“2010 showed the major risks we have to cope with. There were a number of severe earthquakes. The hurricane season was also eventful – it was just fortunate that the tracks of most of the storms remained over the open sea. But things could have turned out very differently”, said Torsten Jeworrek, Munich Re’s Reinsurance CEO. “The severe earthquakes and the hurricane season with so many storms demonstrate once again that there must be no slackening of our efforts to analyze these risks in detail and provide the necessary insurance covers at adequate prices. These prices calculated by the insurance industry make it possible to assess the economic consequences of these otherwise difficult-to-evaluate risks.”

Major catastrophes dominate the list of losses

In all, there were five catastrophes last year assignable to the top category of “great natural catastrophes” based on the definition criteria of the United Nations: the earthquakes in Read more…