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Disaster Death Toll On The Rise 2015

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  • Disaster Death Toll On The Rise 2015

    Munich Re, worlds largest reinsurance company, did a study that I thought you guys might find of interest. In their study they have concluded that the death toll due to Natural Disasters in the world in the past 6 months of 2015 is at its highest while the cost of these events have dropped compared to the past. Now how is that possible?
    The death toll from natural disasters such as earthquakes, storms and heatwaves rose sharply worldwide in the first six months of 2015, the world's largest
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  • #2
    Actually, according to the first chart the death toll for 2015 is substantially higher than 2014, but still well below both 10 and 30 year averages.

    That said, the disparity between deaths and financial losses can be explained by two simple factors.

    The single biggest factor is location. Expenses are always highest when disaster hits the US or western Europe, whereas deaths tend to be higher in underdeveloped regions. In 2014 the US and western Europe topped the list, whereas in 2015 the biggest disasters have been in Asia. Although the earthquake in Nepal did tremendous damage and killed almost 9,000 people, the losses were a relatively modest $4.5 billion. Imagine the total losses if a quake of that magnitude struck one of our large cities. Simple winter storms in North America caused a total of $2.4 billion in losses while only killing 39 people!

    The other factor is type of disaster. 3,600 died from a heat wave, a type of disaster which typically causes very little financial losses. 2014's disasters were more of the typical physically-destructive type.

    Don't be surprised when the ratio of deaths to losses varies wildly. Every year's stats are different, depending upon quantity, severity, type, and location of disasters. It looks like 2014 was very unusual, and this year is closer to normal.
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    • #3
      Thanks fcphdJim for clarifying that. Your right.... 2014 was full of destructive disasters that we were prepared for an able to keep the death toll down... whereas in 2015 we have more issues with heatwaves then destructive disasters which is taking lives but not causing damages. Nepal was what brought the death toll up but even then it did not cause as much damages.
      Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
      Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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      • #4
        Although it may seem strange at first, it starts to make sense with time. I see that our world keeps moving faster and keeps introducing new inventions and products and new drilling ways, new cars so after a while earth gets off balance and then we have climate change and everything pretty much has a domino effect. I feel like these documentaries and accusations can be very dramatic but there is always a certain degree of truth to them. Therefore it seems like we will have to be introducing and working on a lot of "green projects" before everything gets back into a certain balance.

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        • #5
          It has to do with where the disaster strikes. Many people can be killed in a landslide for instance, but if their homes were made of super light weight, inexpensive materials as is common in tropical areas, they do not cost very much. A major flood in another part of the world where houses cost a lot would be very expensive even if everyone was able to evacuate safely.

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          • #6
            I have noticed that (unless I am mistaken) there seems to be more disasters happening in lower cost areas then in higher areas of late also. Most of the damages are in places where the poor live now. Those who live in better cared for areas are not experiencing as much damage or deaths even in the same situation.
            Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
            Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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            • #7
              I am not sure if this was what you were looking for but I was able to find this article by Dr. Jeff Masters that takes an in depth look at the natural disasters that occurred in 2014. His research shows that there were 25 billion dollar weather-related disasters last year. The U.S. accounted for the most with 9 separate incidents, China was second with 6. This marks the sixth highest total in the U.S. since 1980.

              In these 9 incidents occurring in the U.S., a total of 64 people died. As can be seen in the graphic below, this is far less than the deaths that occurred in India, Pakistan, China and even Japan.


              Image Copyright: Aon Benfield
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              • #8
                Excuse me for being ignorant on this but.... why would drought in the US cost 4 billion dollars? What are they paying for?
                Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
                Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KimberlyD View Post
                  Excuse me for being ignorant on this but.... why would drought in the US cost 4 billion dollars? What are they paying for?
                  It takes into consideration the crop revenue loss, livestock/dairy loss, job losses, groundwater pumping costs, loss of farms/land and increase in hay prices among other factors.

                  This Bloomberg article provides a lot of useful information and explains the economic impact of the drought.

                  Additional information can be read here and here, while this UC Davis report from July 2014 also provides an exhaustive (28 pages) analysis.
                  Last edited by dillinger10; 07-25-2015, 03:40 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Ok, now it makes sense. Those figures did not dawn at me at the time I read the information.
                    Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
                    Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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