Water-related disasters dominate past 50 years

9 August, 2021

Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing global climate, water-related hazards top the list of natural disasters with the highest human losses in the past 50 years, according to a new report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Between 1970 and 2019, the most deadly hazards have been droughts (650,000 deaths), storms (577,232 deaths), floods (58,700 deaths) and extreme temperature (55,736 deaths), according to the forthcoming WMO Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes.

The publication will show that over the 50-year period, weather, climate and water hazards accounted for 50% of all disasters (including technological hazards), 45% of all reported deaths and 74% of all reported economic losses at global level.