Article  Why is extreme weather killing fewer people?

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EXCERPTS: Extreme weather has caused trillions of dollars of economic damage in the last half century, but the human death toll has fallen dramatically. The economic cost of floods, storms and wildfires has accelerated since 1970, according to a World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) report.

But better early warning systems and disaster management in developing countries mean fewer people are dying. They caused 22,608 deaths between 2019 and 2021, fewer than in earlier years.

[,,,] Lower death tolls have nothing to do with such events becoming less frequent or severe. The number of weather-related disasters has increased five-fold over the same period, according to the WMO.

The developing countries that have seen improvements in measures to protect human life are home to the populations most vulnerable to such disasters, says the WMO.

[...] Cyclone Mocha, the tropical storm which hit parts of Myanmar and Bangladesh last week ... caused widespread destruction, impacting some of the poorest communities. At least 800,000 people are reported to be in need of emergency food aid and other assistance, but the number of people killed is currently estimated to have been less than 200.

In the past such a storm would have caused death tolls of tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, said Mr Taalas. "Thanks to early warnings and disaster management these catastrophic mortality rates are now thankfully history," he said "Early warnings save lives." (MORE - missing details)

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