A new report released on Monday on the cost of climate change-driven extreme weather said 10 of 2020’s most expensive events caused more than $140 billion in damages.
The report Counting the Cost of 2020: A Year of Climate Breakdown by charity organization Christian Aid identified the 10 events, each of which inflicted damages of at least $1.5 billion, with all but one costing more than $5 billion.
The report said the figures were based on insured losses, meaning the actual financial costs are expected to be higher.
The number of lives lost to the same 10 events was at least 3,470, it said.
Six of the 10 events, it said, occurred in Asia with five associated with an unusually wet monsoon season.
The costliest nature disaster of 2020 was, however, the hurricanes that ripped through the United States and Central America, claiming more than 400 lives and causing some $41 billion in damages.
The record-setting Atlantic hurricane season from June to the end of November saw 30 named storms, 12 of which made landfall in the continental United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Category 4 Hurricane Laura, which made landfall in Louisiana in August, killed 77 people and had an estimated cost of more than $16 billion, and was followed two weeks later by Hurricane Sally that caused eight deaths and more than $6.25 billion in damages.
Though the highest number of lives lost at 153 was to Hurricane Eta that slammed Central America.
China suffered the second costliest event of 2020 with floods that began in June but continued through October, incurring some $32 billion in damages and nearly 300 lives, followed by wildfires that scorched millions of acres of land across the Western United States at a cost of $20 billion. SOVEREIGNPH