resilience reporter

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All the disasters in 2017 were even more costly than we thought

EU urged to improve disaster response system as soon as possible

The European Union (EU) should improve its disaster response system as soon as possible, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said here on Thursday.

Catastrophic disasters in the recent past have proven that EU’s current disaster response system “is not fit for purpose anymore,” Stylianides told reporters after a meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

“We need to increase our collective capacities against natural disasters, forest fires, floods, earthquakes, medical accidents, chemical accidents, and industrial accidents,” Stylianides said.

“It is our moral duty to better protect our citizens and their properties,” he said.

Stylianides noted that last November, the European Commission proposed the creation of rescEU, a reserve at European level of civil protection capabilities such as…

 

All the disasters in 2017 were even more costly than we thought

rockport

2017 smashes world record for natural disaster-insured loss FILE PHOTO: A condominium complex is reduced to rubble after Hurricane Harvey struck in Rockport, Texas, U.S., August 26, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo Full Story: https://www.theweathernetwork.com/us/news/articles/global-insured-losses-billions-disasters-in-2017-most-ever-swiss-re-hurricanes-harvey-irma-maria-wildfires-canada-united-states-caribbean/99156

Swiss Re’s biannual report calculating the damages caused by natural and man-made disasters does not make for easy reading.

In the latest edition, out this week, the reinsurance group upped its estimate for the economic losses caused by global disasters in 2017, from $306 billion to $337 billion. The main reason is a series of record-breaking hurricanes—namely Harvey, Irma, and Maria—that ravaged US coasts.

Sadly, the firm adds in its report, climate change is likely to increase the frequency and severity of such events, as is already apparent in the numbers…

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