The report released by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction on October 10 says the last twenty years have seen a dramatic rise of 151% in direct economic losses from climate-related disasters.  

In the period 1998-2017, disaster-hit countries reported direct economic losses of US$2,908 billion of which climate-related disasters accounted for US$2,245 billion or 77% of the total.

This compares with total reported losses for the period 1978-1997 of US$1,313 billion of which climate-related disasters accounted for US$895 billion or 68%.

The greatest economic losses have reportedly been experienced by the USA, US$ 944.8 billion; China, US$492.2 billion; Japan, US$376.3 billion; India, US$ 79.5 billion; and Puerto Rico, US$ 71.7 billion. Storms, floods and earthquakes place three European countries in the top ten for economic losses: France, US$48.3 billion; Germany, US57.9 billion; Italy, US$56.6 billion; Thailand, US$ 52.4 billion; and Mexico, US$ 46.5 billion..

The report says that during this period, 1.3 million people lost their lives and 4.4 billion people were injured, rendered homeless, displaced or in need of emergency assistance. 563 earthquakes, including related tsunamis, accounted for 56% of total deaths or 747,234 lives lost.

The report Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters 1998-2017 concludes that climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and that disasters will continue to be major impediments to sustainable development so long as the economic incentives to build and develop hazard-prone locations outweigh the perceived disaster risks.