In a year of apocalyptic climate disasters, a report has found that the 10 most expensive storms, floods and droughts each cost at least £2.5bn. Hurricane Ian had the biggest financial impact, of £82.4bn, when it hit the US and Cuba in September 2022. The biggest impact in terms of human costs were the Pakistan floods in June to September, which scientists found were significantly more likely because of the climate crisis, causing 1,739 deaths and displacing 7 million people. The floods cost £4.6bn – although that is only insured losses, and the true cost of the devastating floods is estimated to be more than £24.7bn.Alongside the 10 most costly events, the report from the charity highlights other noteworthy climate-related incidents which also c aused deaths, displacement, devastation and environmental damage. They include floods in Malaysia, Brazil and west Africa, long-running drought in the Horn of Africa, heatwaves in India and Pakistan, the Arctic and Antarctica, wildfires in Chile, storms in southeast Africa and Philippines and a tropical cyclone in Bangladesh. The 10 events which each cost at least £2.5bn include February’s Storm Eunice, which hit the UK and Ireland along with other parts of Europe, causing 16 deaths and costing £3.5bn. Europe’s drought this summer – made several times more likely because of climate change – racked up costs of £16.5bn, hitting crop yields, driving up prices, affecting energy plants and disrupting shipping.
Droughts in China this year cost £6.9bn and in Brazil cost £3.3bn. Floods in Australia in February to March led to 27 deaths and in South Africa in April, 459 people died in flooding, while both events displaced tens of thousands of people and cost billions.

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