More than 25,000 people died in major natural disasters in 2001, according to figures released today by the world’s largest reinsurance firm.
Germany’s Munich Re said the earthquake in Gujarat in India in January was the most devastating disaster, claiming 14,000 lives and causing £3.1bn in damage.
850 people were killed in another earthquake and subsequent landslides in El Salvador, 750 died in floods in Algeria, 650 died during freezing temperatures in Afghanistan and 440 died in floods in Vietnam and Cambodia.
The German firm said natural disasters caused a total of £25bn worth of damage in 2001, a rise of roughly 25% on last year’s figure.
However, this year’s worldwide death toll marked a rise of 150% over last year’s total of 10,000.