MUNICH (dpa-AFX) - Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, storms and other natural events caused worldwide losses of 250 billion dollars and claimed 74,000 lives in 2023, according to a study. This was reported by reinsurer Munich Re in the new edition of its annual natural catastrophe report published on Tuesday. Most of the victims were claimed by the devastating series of earthquakes in Turkey and Syria in February.

The number of fatalities was the highest since 2010, said Ernst Rauch, Chief Geoscientist of the Dax Group. "This was mainly due to the earthquake in Turkey, which claimed 58,000 lives."

Munich Re has been documenting the worldwide destruction caused by natural catastrophes for decades, as this is important for calculating insurance premiums. The 250 billion dollars (around 228 billion euros) in total economic losses correspond to the average of the past five years.

The longer-term trend is pointing upwards: Adjusted for inflation, total losses in the ten-year average (2013 to 2022) were still at 230 billion dollars, while the average for the 30 years from 1993 to 2022 was 180 billion./cho/DP/stw/he