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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 28, 2011
Business & Economy
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Catastrophic Year Costs Dear
April 28, 2011   
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Natural and manmade disasters caused financial losses totaling $218 billion worldwide last year. Disasters in Asia caused losses of $75 billion, according to a report released by Swiss Re, a leading international reinsurance company.

Losses resulting from manmade catastrophes reached around $24 billion, the costliest incident being the explosion at the BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico—the cost is estimated at $20 billion. In comparison, losses caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland totaled $1.7 billion.

Natural catastrophes cost insurers $43 billion, 60 percent more than in 2009. The costliest disasters of 2010 were the earthquakes in Chile ($8 billion) and New Zealand ($4.4 billion) and the Atlantic storm Xynthia which hit Europe in February ($2.7 billion).

Natural disasters that struck Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Germany led to losses of $6.9 billion and cost insurers a total of $1.2 billion.

Disasters last year claimed the lives of almost 304,000 people, the highest death toll since 1976. For the first time since Swiss Re started compiling such reports in 1970, natural disasters (167) outnumbered manmade disasters (137). A total of 820 people were killed last year in air accidents and accidents at sea claimed the lives of 1,192 people.
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