Extreme Weather Killed 70,000 People in India Over Last 2 Decades

A new report by Germanwatch, on Tuesday, 4 December, said over 5.2 lakh people have died due to severe weather conditions across the world in the last 20 years. India accounts for the second highest on the list of casualties after Myanmar.

As per the report, in 2017 alone, 2,736 Indians lost their lives in floods, rains or cyclone. This also was the second highest number of such deaths globally. Puerto Rico, which bore the brunt of Hurricane Maria in September 2017 that claimed 2,978 lives, stood first on the list.

Over a period of 20 years from 1998 to 2017, India has lost, on an average, 3,660 people per year. Total number of casualties over the two decades stands at 73,212 casualties.

During this period, India faced several other cyclones, floods, landslides and extreme rain and heat-wave conditions.

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The data does not include deaths caused by natural calamities like earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanoes because these are not caused by climate change.

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India over the last two-decades has suffered a financial loss of $67.2 billion (in PPP terms) due to extreme weather events. Globally, the financial loss stands at $3.47 trillion (in PPP), said the report, which relied on data collected by insurance giant Munich Re.

The report listed countries at maximum risk to climate change, in which India was placed at the 14th place, based on how these countries have been impacted by climatic events in the last two decades.

Countries like Puerto Rico, Honduras and Myanmar, all of which have faced several cyclonic events, lost a lot of lives. These countries have been classified as maximum risk countries, keeping in mind the proportion of death to the total population.

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