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Losses from Natural Disasters Could Triple by 2100
Source: worldbank.org
Source Date: Friday, November 12, 2010
Created: Nov 15, 2010

Global losses from natural disasters could triple to $185 billion a year by 2100, excluding the impact of climate change, according to a report, which calls for a shift in focus from relief work to preventative measures.

The joint report by the UN and the World Bank, published on Thursday, said the number of people at risk of storms or earthquakes in large cities could double to 1.5 billion by 2050. Simple preventative measures could curb losses from natural disasters, it said, citing Bangladesh's success in building shelters to protect against cyclones.…‘Preventing deaths and destruction from disasters pays, if done right,’ according to the 250-page report by 70 experts entitled Natural Hazards, UnNatural Disasters.…” [Reuters/Factiva]

Xinhua notes that “…targeted directly at the world's finance ministers, the documentation outlined a number of measures to prevent death and destruction from natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and flooding. For example, governments can make information about hazards and risks easily accessible, while removing rent controls restores incentives for landlords to maintain buildings….” [Xinhua/Factiva]

The NYT reports that “…The research team found other factors that tend to correlate with better disaster preparedness. Regular elections tended to reduce earthquake losses, as political actors paid more attention to their constituents' needs.

And less government interference in the housing sector, especially the lack of rent controls, ensured that housing was built better and maintained better. Also, investment in adequate public transportation systems seems to encourage the poor to be willing to live farther from work and not in crowded slums or on marginal land exposed to storms, floods or mudslides.…” [The New York Times/ClimateWire]
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