2 million deaths in 50 years due to climate change, economic loss of $ 4.3 trillion – WMO

United Nations world meteorological organization (WMO) has stated that extreme weather events are responsible for two million deaths and about $4.3 trillion in economic losses over the past five decades.

According to new figures published on Monday, the WMO, the UN’s official voice on weather, climate and water, said there have been 11,778 weather-related disasters from 1970 to 2021, and they have increased over that period.

According to new data presented to #MeteoWorld, “11 778 disasters reported between 1970 and 2021 due to extreme weather, climate and water-related events, causing more than 2 million deaths and US$4.3 trillion in economic losses .

WMO said in a tweet posted on its official page on Monday.

The WMO report indicated that more than 90 percent of the worldwide deaths due to these disasters occurred in developing countries.

“Unfortunately the most vulnerable communities bear the brunt of weather, climate and water-related hazards,” WMO chief, Peteri Taalas, said in a statement.

He said Cyclone Mocha, which wreaked havoc in Myanmar and Bangladesh last week, exemplifies the extreme reality of weather.

Mr Talas said the severe storm had “caused widespread devastation, … affecting the poorest of the poor”.

A similar experience happened in Nigeria last year. Between September and October last year, floods disrupted many communities in 36 states of Africa’s most populous country. Hundreds of villages and urban centers were submerged in water.

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According to official figures, the flood disaster affected more than 2.4 million people, and more than 600 deaths were recorded during this period.

Similarly, huge hectares of agricultural land were washed away in the affected states.

While many Nigerians describe the flood event as the worst consequence of climate change, Nigeria has seen since the nation recorded a similar disaster in 2012, with environmentalists arguing that the flood’s impact was minimal. This would happen if the necessary infrastructure was in place to control flooding in the areas. The country is properly maintained by the government.

importance of early warnings

In the latest report, the WMO said that improved early warning systems and coordinated disaster management have significantly reduced human casualties.

Mr. Talas said that during disasters like Mocha in the past, “tens and even hundreds of thousands of people died in both Myanmar and Bangladesh.”

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Although Myanmar’s military government put the death toll from the latest cyclone at 145, there are fears the number could be higher.

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In a 2021 report covering disaster-related deaths and losses from 1970 to 2019, the agency indicated that at the beginning of the period, the world saw more than 50,000 such deaths each year. By 2010, it was said that the death toll from the disaster had dropped below 20,000 annually.

Between 2020 and 2021, the WMO said on Monday that 22,608 disaster deaths were recorded globally.

“Thanks to early warnings and disaster management, these appalling death tolls are now history,” the report said.

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It states, “Early warning saves lives.”

It was noted that the United Nations has launched a plan to cover all countries with disaster early warning systems by the end of 2027. The report states that to date only half of the countries in the world have such a system in place.

economic loss

Meanwhile, the WMO has warned that while deaths have decreased, economic losses from weather-related disasters have increased.

The agency said they previously recorded that economic losses had increased sevenfold from 1970 to 2019, from $49 million per day during the first decade to $383 million per day in the last one.

“So far in monetary terms, rich countries have been hit the hardest,” the report said.

Weather, climate and water disasters account for more than 60 percent of losses in developed countries, but in more than four-fifths of cases, the economic loss for each disaster was equal to less than 0.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). , says the report.

This report has been produced in support of the UNESCO and CIJ London Climate Change in News Media project supported by the Center for Journalism Innovation and Development.

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