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PHL recorded most disaster-related deaths in the world in 2012

April 5, 2013 1:11am
The Philippines had the greatest number of disaster-related deaths in 2012, with 2,360 fatalities, according to a report in the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) newsletter.

Around 1,901 of these deaths were caused by Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha). Debarati Guha-Sapir, CRED director, said in the report that Pablo was the strongest tropical cyclone on record that hit Mindanao, having also affected at least six million people. Pablo was also responsible for $2.6 billion worth of property damage.

For 2012, the Brussels-based CRED recorded about 310 natural disasters globally, which claimed about 9,930 lives and affected over 106 million others. These disasters resulted to $238 billion in economic damages.

“There were no mega-disasters in 2012 in terms of human impact,” said the CRED report. It also pointed out that the number of deaths in 2012 much lower than the 10-year average (from 2002 to 2011) of 106,809 deaths per year.

Broken down into continents, Asia was once again the most affected by natural disasters, both in terms of occurrence, persons killed and persons affected.

Meanwhile, about 63 percent of economic losses occurred in the Americas. Hurricane Sandy, which had hit the Eastern seaboard of the United States in October, cost the US about $50 billion. Meanwhile, a drought that affected 62 percent of the United States incurred a $20-billion economic loss.

“Though the majority of economic damages from natural disasters in 2012 came from developed nations, the impact of disasters on less-developed economies should not be overlooked,” CRED stressed.,

As an example, the report cited the damage the damages caused by Cyclone Evan on Samoa, which represented almost 20% of the country’s GDP. Also Pakistan lost the equivalent of 1.7% of GDP because of floods.

CRED is a non-profit organization which is a World Health Organization Collaborating Center. Rouchelle Dinglasan/DVM, GMA News
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