Thursday, November 11, 2010

'Natural disasters to cost $185 billion yearly by end of century'

The Economic Times (India): Annual global losses from natural disasters could triple to a whopping USD 185 billion by the end of this century, according to a new report. Climate change could add another USD 28-68 billion more in damages per year from tropical cyclones alone, said the report released today jointly by the World Bank and the United Nations .

The 250-page report tilted 'Natural Hazards, UnNatural Disasters: The Economics of Effective Prevention' also said that the number of people exposed to storms and earthquakes in large cities could double to 1.5 billion by 2050. Targeted directly at the world's finance ministers, it stresses that "prevention pays but you do not always have to pay more for prevention".

It outlined a number of measures to prevent death and destruction from natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and flooding. These measures are almost stunning in their simplicity and common-sense approach. For example, governments can make information about hazards and risks easily accessible.

It said: "Providing land titles reduces the possibility of eviction or demolition, and encourages individuals to invest in safer structures. Removing rent controls restores incentives for landlords to maintain buildings. And, reorienting existing public spending to prioritise day-to-day operations and maintenance -- mending pot-holes, painting steel bridges, keeping drains clear -- would increase prevention." …

Leonardo da Vinci sketch of a natural disaster

No comments: