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UN: Weather extremes are hitting the world up to 5 times more often, economic damage is increasing
Extreme weather events are hitting the world four to five times more often and causing seven times as much damage as in the 1970s, reports the United Nations weather agency.
But these disasters are killing far fewer people. In the 1970s and 1980s, they killed an average of about 170 people a day worldwide. In 2010, it dropped to about 40 a day, the World Meteorological Organization said.
The report comes during a summer of global catastrophe, with the United States hit hard by Hurricane Ida and drought-stricken fires.
"The good news is that we have been able to minimize the number of casualties as we have started to have increasing amounts of disasters: heat waves, floods, droughts and especially ... intense tropical storms like Ida, which has hit "Louisiana and Mississippi recently in the United States, " Petteri Taalas, the organization's secretary general, told a news conference.
"But the bad news is that the economic losses are growing very rapidly and this growth is assumed to continue. We will see more extreme weather due to climate change, and these negative trends in climate will continue for decades" , he added.
In the 1970s, the world averaged 711 weather disasters a year, but from 2000 to 2009 that was up to 3,536 a year or nearly 10 a day, according to a report. The average number of annual disasters has dropped slightly in 2010 to 3,165, it said.
Most of the deaths and damage during the 50 years of weather disasters came from storms, floods and droughts. More than 90% of the more than 2 million deaths are in what the UN considers developing nations, while nearly 60% of the economic damage occurred in the richest countries.