The year just ended was the most expensive in recent history in terms of damage caused by natural events: earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, have caused quantifiable economic losses, worldwide, at 380 billion dollars, about 300 billion euros. 10 times the value of the recent financial maneuver of Mario Monti.
The sad calculation was announced a few days ago by the US insurance company Munich Re and shatters the previous record set by Mother Nature in 2005, when the damages from natural disasters had been "only" 220 billion dollars (170 billion euros) .
The one who breaks does not pay and the pieces are ours
The earthquake that devastated Japan in March alone was responsible for over half of the losses. According to the calculations it was the most expensive natural catastrophe of all time: the latest estimates speak of damages of over 210 billion dollars, excluding the cost resulting from the loss of the Fukushima nuclear plant.
According to experts, it is still an anomaly: usually 90% of natural damage is caused by atmospheric phenomena and only the remaining 10% is due to seismic events.
The earthquake in Christchurch (New Zealand) ranks second in the 2011 disasters ranking, which caused damages of over 16 billion dollars in February. Another 46 billion dollars were, literally, wiped out by the tornadoes that during the year raged with particular violence throughout the United States.
"Fortunately, a sequence of disasters as violent as those of 2011 occurs very rarely, " reassures Torsten Jeworrek, world leader for the business of rehabilitations at Munich Re.
But the heaviest tribute paid by the planet over the last 12 months has been in terms of human lives: natural disasters have killed over 27, 000 people, to which must be added the countless victims of the worst drought that has ever hit the Horn of Africa.