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Global natural disaster losses have been much lower than normal in first half of 2018

Impact Forecasting reports that global economic losses from natural disasters for the first half of 2018 have been estimated at USD45 billion – 64 percent lower than the 10-year average of USD124 billion, and 48 percent lower than the 18-year average of USD87 billion.

The estimates are published in Impact Forecasting’s Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2018 report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide in the first six months of the year.

The report says that insured losses have preliminarily been estimated at USD21 billion – 40 percent lower than the 10-year average of USD35 billion, and 19 percent lower than the 18-year average of USD26 billion.

Natural disasters claimed at least 2,153 lives during the first half of 2018, the least since 1986, and significantly below the long-term (1980-2017) average of 36,570 and a median of the same period (7,991). Flooding was the deadliest peril of the first two quarters of 2018, having been responsible for at least 892 deaths.

According to the report, there were an estimated 156 natural disaster events in 1H 2018, which was above the 18-year average of 142. While there was no 'mega catastrophe' that led to economic damage beyond USD10 billion, there were at least 15 separate billion-dollar events in 1H 2018 – all of which were weather-related, except one earthquake event – led by the US (6), EMEA (4), APAC (4), and the Americas (1).

The first six months were marked by many smaller-scale disasters, with Asia-Pacific (APAC) recording the most disasters in the first six months of the year (55). Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) was second with 44 events, followed by the United States (37) and the Americas (20).

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