Natural disasters since 1970 take heavy toll in Pakistan

November 21st, 2010 - 1:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Nov 21 (IANS) A string of natural disasters, including floods and earthquakes, have left over 3.3 million people dead and caused a staggering loss of $2,300 billion between 1970 and 2008 in Pakistan, said a new book.

The book “Natural Hazards, UN-Natural Disasters: The Economics of Effective Prevention” said that a lot could be done to reduce the toll from such hazards even in the face of increased risk from climate change.

Daily Times reported Sunday that storms, floods, earthquakes, and droughts caused more than 3.3 million deaths and $2,300 billion in damage between 1970 and 2008.

The World Bank-UN book said that natural hazards often turn into disasters as a result of poor policies and practices.

“A deeper questioning of what happened, and why, could prevent a repetition of disasters,” said the book.

It projected that damage from disasters was going to grow, making prevention all the more critical.

The book went on to say that by the year 2100, financial damages from weather-related hazards may zoom up to $185 billion annually.

Pakistan was ravaged by floods this year that left over 1,700 dead and nearly 20 million homeless.

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