Kaikoura quake in top 10 costliest natural disasters for 2016

Seven reasons we’re at more risk than ever of a global pandemic

With people moving more regularly from — and between — rural settings to urban ones, the chances of them becoming infected and then living in close quarters with others further boosts the potential for things to spread.

It could take just one cough, one kiss, one touch or even one bite to change not only your life, but the lives of everyone around you — and for months or even years.

In most cases, the closer those people are to you, the greater the risk. But it isn’t always that simple.

The risk at hand: an infectious outbreak.

Public health experts believe we are at greater risk than ever of experiencing large-scale outbreaks and global pandemics like those we’ve seen before: SARS, swine flu, Ebola…


Australia flooding – don’t go in the water

Massive floods in the wake of tropical cyclone Debbie hit two eastern Australia states on Thursday and Friday, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

The category four storm hit northeastern Australia on Tuesday between Bowen and Airlie Beach causing widespread damage. But as it tracked southeast as a tropical low it dumped huge amounts of rain all the way down the eastern coast…



Kaikoura quake in top 10 costliest natural disasters for 2016

The Kaikoura quake was the seventh most costly natural disaster last year, according to a report by global reinsurer Munich Re.

The quake, which hit on November 14 last year, cost US$3.9 billion of which US$2.1b was picked up by insurance companies.

But it paled in comparison to the cost of the biggest natural disasters.

Earthquakes in Japan in April were the costliest event at US$31b of which US$6b were insured losses.

Floods in China cost US$20b of which only US$520 million were insured losses.

In total, overall losses for 2016 added up to US$175b – and taking inflation into account it was one of the 10 costliest years on record…

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