ENVIRONMENT

U.S., Thailand had biggest losses from weather damage in 2011

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/SCOTT EISEN
2011 DAMAGE FROM HURRICANE IRENE is seen near the Irving gas station at the junction of Route 4 and Route 100 in Killington, Vt. In 2011, the U.S. and Thailand suffered the most economic damage from extreme weather events.
Posted 11/27/12

DOHA - The U.S. and Thailand, the U.S. suffered the most economic damage from extreme weather events in 2011, the Berlin-based research group Germanwatch said.

Thailand and the U.S. both endured about $75 billion of damage from storms, floods, landslides and wildfires in 2011, the group said in a report today released in Doha, where two weeks of United Nations climate talks began yesterday. China’s damages totaled almost $13 billion. Pakistan was fourth in the ranking with $5.8 billion and Brazil fifth with $4.7 billion.

When the relative size of countries’ economies are taken into account and death tolls are factored in, Thailand remained the country most affected by extreme weather last year, while the U.S. was seventh, according to the Berlin-based group’s Climate Risk Index. Cambodia, Pakistan, El Salvador, the Philippines and Brazil were second through sixth.

In the two decades through 2011, more than 530,000 people died worldwide as a result of almost 15,000 extreme weather events, causing losses of more that $2.5 trillion, according to Germanwatch. Over the 20-year period, the most affected nations were Honduras, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Bangladesh and Haiti.

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