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Extreme weather caused $165 billion damage to US in 2022: Report


In the United States, several extreme weather conditions including major hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, droughts and severe winter storms caused more than $165 billion in damage last year, according to a government report. .

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the country experienced 18 separate weather and climate disasters worth billions of dollars by 2022, with Hurricane Ian causing the most damage. with nearly $113 billion, AFP reports.

Speaking to the media here, NOAA administrator Richard Spinrad said: “Climate change is creating more and more intense extremes that cause significant and often catastrophic damage. cascade hazards such as severe drought, then devastating wildfires, then dangerous floods and landslides.”

“More and more Americans and places are at risk from extreme weather and climate. People are seeing the effects of the changing climate system where they live, work and play on a regular basis,” he said.

In a year-end report, NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information said (NCEI) that 2022 tied 2017 and 2011 in terms of the most multi-billion-dollar disasters in a calendar year, following 22 and 20 separate billion-dollar events of 2020 and 2021, AFP reported.

The NCEI said the increasing number of extreme events “suggests that the extremely high activity of recent years is becoming the new normal”, adding that they should be taken as a “wake-up call”. ” to build resilience.

At $165 billion, the NCEI says, 2022 ranks third in total costs behind 2017 (Hurricanes Harvey and Irma) and 2005 (Hurricane Katrina), and that number could increase as the impact of a single A long winter storm makes landfall in the central and eastern regions. The United States in December is fully counted.

The report also notes that the figures do not reflect the total cost of weather and climate events in the United States last year, but only those associated with major disasters that each caused damage. damage more than 1 billion dollars.

It said multibillion-dollar events accounted for about 85 percent of the total loss from all weather and climate events recorded in the United States by 2022.

Hurricane Ian, which devastated Florida in September, was the costliest hurricane, causing $112.9 billion in damage and 152 deaths.

This was followed by a summer heatwave and drought that affected much of the central and western United States, causing $22.2 billion in damage, 136 deaths, and severely drying up reservoirs like Lake Mead, as reported by AFP.

Other weather and climate disasters include wildfires in the western United States and Alaska, flooding in Missouri and Kentucky, tornadoes in the southern and southeastern states, and a December winter storm.

The $18 billion events resulted in at least 474 direct or indirect deaths, the seventh most since 1980.

(With AFP input)

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