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Asia Suffered $83bn in Damage from Disasters Last Year

In 2016, Asia suffered greater financial losses due to natural and man-made catastrophes than any other region in the world, according to a new report.

A recent study carried out by global insurer Swiss Re Institute shows that, compared to 2015, global economic losses from disaster almost doubled in the last year, TODAY reports. The study states that there were 327 incidents of calamity in 2016, resulting in US$175 billion worth of damage. This is also the highest amount of financial loss since 2012.

Asia was the most unfortunate region in the world, as it recorded 128 disasters and took on US$83 billion in damage, about US$25-30 billion of which was due to the massive earthquake that struck Japan’s Kyushu Island last April.

The study also accounts for insurance payouts on a global level, which increased to US$54 billion, compared to US$38 billion in 2015. This was due to the high number of natural disasters, ranging from earthquakes and typhoons to floods and wildfires.

Last year was also a bad one for Vietnam due to scores of natural disasters. At a conference held by the World Bank, the organization estimated that catastrophes could cause damage of up to VND30.2 trillion (US$1.4 billion) annually to private and public assets.

Over the next 50 years, these losses will only go up, draining a total of US$6.7 billion from the country's economy, according to the World Bank conference. Vulnerable provinces in central Vietnam will be the hardest-hit due to their high poverty rates and the frequency of natural disasters such as droughts and tropical storms.

[Photo via Making Change Now]

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