Natural disasters quadrupled in past two decades.

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"Natural disasters quadrupled in past two decades."

“More than four times the number of natural disasters are occurring now than did two decades ago,” said Oxfam today, largely blaming global warming for the increase in severe weather:

The world suffered about 120 natural disasters per year in the early 1980s, which compared with the current figure of about 500 per year, according to the report. [...]

The number of people affected by extreme natural disasters, meanwhile, has surged by almost 70 percent, from 174 million a year between 1985 to 1994, to 254 million people a year between 1995 to 2004, Oxfam said.

Floods and wind-storms have increased from 60 events in 1980 to 240 last year, with flooding itself up six-fold.

“This is no freak year. It follows a pattern of more frequent, more erratic, more unpredictable and more extreme weather events that are affecting more people,” added Oxfam director Barbara Stocking.

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