2017 costliest year ever for weather, climate disasters: WMO

Weather and climate disasters cost countries about USD 320 billion last year with major monsoon floods in the Indian subcontinent and severe droughts in parts of East Africa contributing to making 2017 the most expensive year on record.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in its State of Climate 2017 report said that the North Atlantic hurricane season was the costliest ever for the U.S and eradicated decades of development gains in small islands in the Caribbean, such as Dominica.

According to the report, Major monsoon floods in the Indian subcontinent and severe droughts across East Africa also contributed to 2017 being the most expensive year on record for severe weather and climate events.

It said weather and climate-related events cost countries some USD 320 billion, making 2017 the costliest year on record.

“Excess precipitation in late March and early April 2017 triggered floods in north-eastern agricultural areas of Bangladesh. The monsoon season in South Asia brought the worst flooding in the region for years. Between June and August 2017, flooding in Nepal, Bangladesh and northern India affected millions of people and caused death and displacement across the three countries, the report said.

The report noted that the two most significant cyclones of the year in the North Indian Ocean were Cyclone ‘Mora’ in late May, and Cyclone ‘Ockhi’ in early December, both of which caused substantial casualties.