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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Commission under budget 'pressure' as natural disasters spike

A dramatic increase in the number of natural disasters last year has sparked calls for more funding, cooperation and cost-efficiency from European Commission services. A report by Munich Re, one of the world's largest insurance firms, says that 2010 saw 950 natural disasters - the second highest number since 1980 - and 295,000 people died as a result.The fact that 90% of the disasters were weather-related provided "further indications of advancing climate change," the report warned.   Global losses from floods, heatwaves, earthquakes and hurricanes in 2010 reached €99 billion euros, of which just €28 billion euros was insured. In the EU, just one disaster, Storm Xynthia, a gale which hit France and Spain, caused €4.5bn of losses, € 2.3bn of which was insured.Last year actually saw the second highest number of natural disasters in the last 30 years and it was only good luck that prevented one of the most severe hurricane seasons on record from wreaking terrible damage, as the storms mostly took place at sea.

Source: EurActiv