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Global Disasters Killed More, Cost Less In 2013

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GLOBAL DISASTERS
A typhoon survivor walks past shipping vessels that remain grounded after being washed ashore during Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. Villages in the central Philippines were flattened by Haiyan's ferocious winds and the tsunami-like storm surge that damaged or swept away more than a million homes. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, hit the country's eastern seaboard on Nov. 8. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

BERLIN (AP) — The German insurance company Munich Re says some 20,000 people died in natural disasters last year, about twice as many as in 2012.

Most of the deaths resulted from Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines, Vietnam and China in November with a loss of almost 6,100 lives. This was followed by floods in India that killed about 5,500 people in June.

Munich Re's annual disasters report released Tuesday found that the economic cost of natural catastrophes was lower last year.

Some 880 events cost about $125 billion, with insured losses of $31 billion. This compares with costs of $173 billion and insured losses of $65 billion in 2012.

The costliest natural disasters were summer hailstorms in Germany, floods in Central Europe, and storms and tornadoes in the United States.

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