2010: the year of natural disasters
A total of 950 natural catastrophes were recorded last year, 90% of which were weather-related events such as storms and floods, according to Munich RE.
The reinsurance business says that the total means 2010 is the second-highest year on record for natural catastrophes since 1980.
The figure greatly exceeds the annual average for the past 10 years, which is 785 events a year. The German-based fi rm also claims the high number of weather-related natural catastrophes and record temperatures, both globally and in individual countries, provides further indications of advancing climate change.
Munich RE estimates that losses from the natural catastrophes in 2010 totalled $130 billion. Hurricanes in the North Atlantic were particularly severe, even though damage was limited because favourable weather conditions meant they were largely confined to sea areas.
The warming water temperatures helped to fuel the intensity of the hurricanes.
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