Hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods made 2017 most expensive year ever
(Sourced from PTI)
Weather and climate disasters cost countries about $320 billion last year with major monsoon floods in the Indian subcontinent and severe droughts in parts of East Africa contributing to making 2017 the most expensive year on record. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in its State of Climate 2017 report said that the North Atlantic hurricane season was the costliest ever for the US.
The WMO's report stated, "Excess precipitation in late March and early April 2017 triggered floods in north-eastern agricultural areas of Bangladesh. The monsoon season in South Asia brought the worst flooding in the region for years." It added, "Between June and August 2017, flooding in Nepal, Bangladesh, and northern India affected millions of people and caused death and displacement across the three countries."
The report noted that the two most significant cyclones of the year in the North Indian Ocean were Cyclone Mora in late May, and Cyclone Ockhi in early December. The impact of the cyclones was severe flooding and landslides and their precursor lows. Sri Lanka was badly affected by both cyclones, whilst Ockhi also affected southern India, as many fishermen went missing at sea.
"Many parts of the Indian subcontinent were affected by flooding during the monsoon season between June and September, despite overall seasonal rainfall being near average over the region," the report added. The most serious flooding occurred in mid-August, after extremely heavy rainfall over a region centered on eastern Nepal, northern Bangladesh and adjacent areas of northern and north-eastern India.
Across the period as a whole, more than 1,200 deaths were reported in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, while more than 40 million people were affected. The WHO noted that in Bangladesh alone more than 13,000 cases of waterborne diseases and respiratory infections were reported over three weeks in August, while extensive damage was reported to public health facilities in Nepal, the report added.