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Climate change to blame? 2021 produced the second-costliest disasters on record

DW, 10 Jan 2022
Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, 2021 brought more than its share of natural disasters. And as well as claiming around 10,000 lives, they also took a major financial toll. German reinsurer Munich Re says it was one of the most expensive years on record, with global damages estimated at around 280 billion dollars - only 120 billion dollars of which was insured. Hardest hit was the United States, which accounted for 150 billion dollars of the damages. It was struck by Hurricane Ida, disastrous tornadoes, an extremely cold winter in the south and wildfires in the west. In Europe, floods did the most damage. 54 billion dollars worth in total. Last year's flooding in western Germany was the country's most costly natural disaster on record. Meanwhile the Asia-Pacific region saw damages of 48 billion dollars, but a mere 8 billion of which was covered by insurance. So what made 2021 a remarkable year for natural disasters?

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