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Cred Crunch Newsletter, Issue No. 54 (April 2019) - Disasters 2018: Year in Review

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Brussels 2019 - In 2018, there were 315 climate-related and geophysical disaster events recorded in the EM-DAT (International Disaster Database) with 11,804 deaths, and over 68 million people affected across the world. Globally, Indonesia recorded nearly half the total deaths from disasters, while India recorded the highest number of individuals affected.

Floods (127 Events)

Overall, floods have affected more people than any other type of disaster in the 21st century, including in 2018. In Somalia, which was already suffering from an ongoing conflict, over 700,000 people were affected by flooding, while in Nigeria, flooding cost 300 lives and impacted nearly two million people.
In Japan, heavy rains triggered the deadliest floods since 1982, killing 230 people. The August flash flooding in India’s Kerala state was by far the largest flood event of the year, with 504 dead, and two-thirds of the state’s residents affected (over 23 million people). Additionally, the flash floods were the worst the region had experienced since the 1920’s, and cost US$2.85 Billion. The Kerala flash floods were covered in depth by CRED Crunch Issue No. 53, released in December 2018.

Storms (95 Events)

Two major storms struck the United States, while in Asia, China, India, Japan, and the Philippines, faced extensive damage from multiple storms. As a result, storms were the most costly type of disaster in 2018, particularly due to hurricanes Florence (14 billion USD) and Michael (16 billion USD) and typhoon Jebi (12.5 billion USD). In terms of human impacts, the Philippines suffered from multiple deadly storms that took over 300 lives in total, and affected over 10 million people.

Droughts & Extreme Temperatures (41 Events)

In 2018, three million people were affected by an ongoing drought in Kenya, while Afghanistan suffered a major drought that impacted 2.2 million people, causing the internal displacement of hundreds of thousands. In Central America droughts affected over 2.5 million people in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, which coincided with international migration patterns. Across the world numerous drought events affected agricultural industries costing billions of dollars in damages, while in South Asia, East Asia, Europe, and North America, heatwaves cost hundreds of lives overall.