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Disasters caused $37.4 bn in losses in first half of 2015: Swiss Re

As many as 5,000 people died of the heatwave in Pakistan and India during May and June. PHOTO: AFP

As many as 5,000 people died of the heatwave in Pakistan and India during May and June. PHOTO: AFP

Natural and manmade disasters caused $37.4 billion (34 billion euros) in economic losses during the first half of 2015, proving far less costly than in recent years, reinsurance group Swiss Re said Tuesday. The figure, which combines both insured and uninsured losses, marked a 37-per cent drop from the first half of 2014. It was also only about a third of the average first-half loss over the previous decade of $107 billion. The insurance industry took a hit of $16.5 billion, or 45 per cent, of those losses…

 

Tianjin Explosions: Natural Disasters In China Prompt Wave Of Media Censorship

As Chinese rescue workers and emergency services raced to respond to the deadly explosions that rocked the port city of Tianjin Wednesday, another group of Chinese officials, with a very different purpose, also sprang into action: the country’s censors and security officials, intent on limiting coverage of the disaster by conventional media outlets and social media…

 

Pillowcase preppers: YMCA kids learn how to prepare for disasters

Over a dozen third-, fourth- and fifth-graders sat around a picnic bench Tuesday afternoon at the Winona YMCA’s Camp Wenonah. “Has anyone ever experienced a flood, or know someone who has?” American Red Cross disaster educator Gayle Gorman asked the group. Over half of the kids raised their hands. “A flood is a slow-moving disaster — and we need to think about preparing for things like that,” she explained, as she pulled out a sturdy, white pillowcase. The Pillowcase Project, new to the YMCA and Camp Wenonah this summer, is an interactive education program that teaches kids and their families how to prepare…

 

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