Natural disasters in 2011 claim 30,000 livesListen /
Nearly 30,000 people were killed by natural disasters in 2011, according to the UN office for disaster risk reduction UNISDR.
The earthquake in Japan and subsequent tsunami alone killed close to 20,000 people.
Worldwide, over 200 million people were affected by the 302 disasters recorded during the year.
For the second year running earthquakes and floods top the list of major disasters in terms of human lives lost and damage to property.
Prof. Debby Guha-Sapir is from the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED).
"Disasters in 2011 have shown that developed countries, middle income countries are not protected from devastating catastrophes and need to put some of their resources, they have the resources to protect the population from these catastrophic disasters. Economic losses and monetary values are not the only way to measure the impact of natural disasters. That human impact indicators are equally important, human health is equally important and deaths of mothers, deaths of children are equally important to society."
UNISDR says although the economic and human cost of the drought ravaging the horn of Africa was significantly high, reliable data on the disaster was in short supply.
Economic losses in 2011 topped 366 billion dollars compared to 109 billion dollars the previous year.