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WMO Report : Weather, Climate Disasters Increase Fivefold in 50 years

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Weather, climate disasters surge fivefold in 50 yearsWorld Meteorological Organization (WMO), has released a report titled, “The Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970–2019)” which states that number of disasters, such as floods and heatwaves, driven by climate change have increased fivefold over the past 50 years.


  • Extreme events like changes in weather and Climate patterns will become more frequent.
  • There were more than 11,000 reported disasters attributed to these hazards globally, with just over two million deaths and $3.64 trillion in losses.
  • The recent hurricane named’ Ida’ in the US Gulf Coast, considered as the costliest weather disaster.
  • WMO has estimated an average of 115 deaths each day. More than 91% deaths occurred in developing countries.

Key findings

i.Majority of the loss occurred due to droughts. Around 650,000 deaths are recorded while storms and floods caused 577,000 and 58,700 deaths respectively in the past 50 years.

ii.The report finds that the numbers of Disasters and extreme climatic events have increased but the decrease in the number of deaths is almost 3 times recorded.

iii.Due to improvement in early warning system and disaster management the number of death reduced from 50,000 in1970 to 20,000 in 2010s

iv.The reported losses from 2010–2019 (US$ 383 million per day on average over the decade) were seven times the amount reported from 1970–1979 (US$ 49 million).

v.The UN agency’s report found that three hurricanes – Harvey, Maria and Irma – that hit the United States in 2017 alone accounted for 35% of the economic losses caused by weather disasters from 1970 to 2019.

About World Meteorological Organization

Secretary General- Petteri Taalas
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
Members- 193 member