Natural disasters caused large economic losses in 2022 but less than in 2021

Natural catastrophes caused $270 billion worth of damage in 2022, the year marked by Hurricane Ian in the United States, but losses were lower than in 2021, according to an estimate released Tuesday by reinsurer Munich Re.

In 2021, global losses had been 320,000 million, according to estimates by the German group.

Insured losses were flat at $120 billion, according to Munich Re’s balance sheet.

Last year, natural disasters caused some 11,000 deaths worldwide, up from 9,320 in 2021, according to the company.

North America continues to dominate the claims statistics. The hurricane "Ian"which struck the west coast of Florida in late September and swept the continent with winds of up to 250 kilometers per hour, tops the world catastrophe rankings by a wide margin.

The losses amounted to about 100,000 million dollars, of which about 60,000 million were insured.

Ian was the second most expensive hurricane in history after Katrina, which devastated Louisiana in 2005.

The greatest loss of life was caused by flooding triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan, which claimed 1,700 lives.

Direct damage, estimated at at least $15 billion, was virtually uninsured.

In Europe, the drought caused indirect damage that is difficult to quantify, while in France and Spain strong hailstorms caused multi-million dollar damage.

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