According to a recent study published by the re-insurance company Swiss Re, the total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were USD 140 billion in 2013. Of these, the global losses that were insured amounted to USD 45 billion. Most of these losses were caused by disasters triggered by natural hazards, such as floods and hail events.
The studies names Typhoon Hayian in the Philippines and the massive flooding in central and eastern Europe as the biggest disasters to have happened in 2013. Swiss Re adds: "Many regions around the world were hit by floods in 2013. The single largest loss-event in North America was extensive flooding in the city of Calgary, Alberta and surrounding area following six days of torrential rain. The economic loss was USD 4.7 billion and the insured loss was USD 1.9 billion. Floods also generated losses in Australia, Asia and South America."
Furthermore, the study praises disaster risk management measures in the last years that continue to minimize disaster losses: "Risk prevention and mitigation measures have progressed in recent years. For instance, the losses from the floods in central and eastern Europe last year would have been much worse had the flood protection measures not been strengthened after the same region suffered severe flooding in 2002. Likewise, a very effective pre-designed evacuation drive saved thousands of lives when Cyclone Phailin made landfall in Odisha, India in October, with winds of up to 260 km per hour.