India loses 87 billion USD due to natural disasters last year: WMO

Source: Xinhua| 2021-10-26 18:56:16|Editor: huaxia

NEW DELHI, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- A report released by World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Tuesday said India lost 87 billion U.S. dollars last year due to natural disasters such as tropical cyclones, floods and droughts.

The WMO quoted the estimates by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in its report.

"Tropical cyclones, floods and droughts induced an estimated average annual loss (AAL) of several hundred billion dollars, according to ESCAP. Losses were estimated at approximately 87 billion dollars in India," the report said.

The report said intense cyclones, monsoon rains and floods hit highly exposed and densely populated areas in South Asia and East Asia, and displaced millions of people in China, Bangladesh, India, Japan, Pakistan, Nepal and Vietnam in 2020.

"Cyclone Amphan, one of the strongest cyclones ever recorded, hit the Sundarbans region between India and Bangladesh in May 2020, displacing 2.4 million people in India and 2.5 million people in Bangladesh," the report said.

According to the report, China recorded the highest loss at 238 billion dollars, followed by 87 billion dollars in India. Japan figures at number three with a recorded loss of 83 billion dollars, the report shows.

The report was released just days before a UN-led summit on climate change, COP26, that is scheduled to start in Glasgow, Scotland.

"Weather and climate hazards, especially floods, storms, and droughts, had significant impacts on many countries of the region, affecting agriculture and food security, contributing to increased displacement and vulnerability of migrants, refugees, and displaced people, worsening health risks, and exacerbating environmental issues and losses of natural ecosystems," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

"Combined, these impacts take a significant toll on long term sustainable development, and progress toward the UN 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals in particular," Taalas added.

According to the report, progress on food security and nutrition has also slowed down. The report said last year, 48.8 million people in Southeast Asia, 305.7 million in South Asia and 42.3 million in West Asia are estimated to have been undernourished.

"The true impacts of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition are yet to be established. But compared with 2019, the number of undernourished people in 2020 increased by 6 percent in South-East Asia and West Asia, and by 20 percent in South Asia. Climate-related disasters compounded the problem," the report said.

Last year was the warmest year on record in Asia with a mean temperature of 1.39 degrees centigrade above the 1981-2010 average, the report noted. Enditem

KEY WORDS: India,WMO,Natural Disasters