Water-related hazards top list of 10 disasters: WMO
Water-related hazards now top the list of natural disasters with the highest human losses in the past 50 years, according to the UN weather agency.
The Atlas of Mortality
and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970-2019) report of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) finds that of the 10 disasters causing the most human fatalities in the past five decades, droughts top the list with some 650,000 deaths across the globe.
Storms caused upwards of 577,000 fatalities, floods led to more than 58,000 deaths, and extreme temperatures caused over 55,000 to die.
Excerpts from the report - which will be published in September - were released as temperatures in parts of North America soar, and unprecedented flooding in north-central Europe continues.
Up to two months' worth of rainfall fell in two days, on 14 and 15 July, affecting parts of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria, the German national meteorological service said.
More than 120 people died in Germany alone, and hundreds remain missing.
Meanwhile, parts of the central Chinese province of Henan received more accumulated rainfall between 17 and 21 July than the typical average for a full calendar year.
The report estimates that, of the top 10 events examined between 1970 and 2019, storms accounted for approximately $521 billion in economic losses, while floods accounted for about $115 billion.