Jan 3, 2011
People walk down a street amid earthquake rubble in Haiti. -- PHOTO: AP
FRANKFURT - THE Haiti earthquake and floods in Pakistan and China helped make 2010 an exceptional year for natural disasters, killing 295,000 and costing 130 billion dollars (S$167 billion), the world's top reinsurer said on Monday.
'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,' said Munich Re in a report.
The last time so many people died in natural disasters was in 1983, when 300,000 people died, mainly due to famine in Ethiopia, spokesman Gerd Henghuber told AFP.
A total of 950 natural disasters were recorded last year, making 2010 the second worst year since 1980. The average number of events over the past 10 years was 785.
And in terms of economic cost, insured losses amounted to approximately 37 billion dollars, putting 2010 among the six most loss-intensive years for the insurance industry since 1980.
'2010 showed the major risks we have to cope with. There were a number of severe earthquakes. The hurricane season was also eventful,' said Torsten Jeworrek, the firm's chief executive. -- AFP