Emerging economies facing “extreme risk” despite natural disaster respite

It will come as little consolation to the victims of Hurricane Sandy or Typhoon Bopha, but 2012 was the least deadly year for natural disasters in the past decade, according to new figures from risk management firm Maplecroft.

The company today reports that fewer 10,000 people lost their lives as a result of natural disasters last year, meaning fatalities stood at nine per cent of the decadal average of 106,000 deaths a year. The number of recorded natural disaster also fell to 251 events, a drop of 65 per cent on the 10 year average.

The reports’ findings will invariably be seized on by climate sceptic groups, although scientists have stressed that a single annual fall in the number of extreme weather events does nothing to contradict predictions extreme weather will become more frequent over the coming decades as a result of climate change.

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