NewsElbe 2002: Most expensive natural disaster in Europe for...

Elbe 2002: Most expensive natural disaster in Europe for years

According to the World Weather Organization (WMO), the floods in Germany in 2002 caused damage amounting to billions of euros.

Geneva – According to an analysis by the World Weather Organization (WMO), the floods in Germany in 2002, especially on the Elbe, were the most serious natural disaster in Europe in the past 50 years after damage to property.

They caused damage amounting to around 14 billion euros, as the organization reported in Geneva. She evaluated data from 1970 to 2019.

Worldwide, of the natural disasters, droughts and storms have claimed the most human lives in the past 50 years. Around 650,000 people were killed in droughts and around 580,000 in storms. Floods and extreme temperatures were well behind, with less than 60,000 deaths each. In terms of property damage, storms were the most serious natural disasters worldwide, with losses equivalent to a good 440 billion euros. This was followed by floods with damage amounting to almost 100 billion euros.

Climate change is exacerbating the situation, said WMO General Secretary Petteri Taalas. Examples are the extreme temperatures recently in North America as well as the most recent devastating floods in Germany and neighboring countries. “More and more, episodes of heavy rain are a sign of climate change,” Taalas said. “As the atmosphere gets warmer, it holds more moisture, which means that it rains more during storms and the risk of flooding increases.” Dpa

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