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US facing most natural disasters after China and India: UN

PTI | Washington |

The United States has suffered the most number of natural disasters after China and India since 1995, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said as he called for building resilience and reducing the risk posed by such calamities.

“I want to express my solidarity with all those suffering the devastating impacts of the unprecedented events we have seen in recent weeks from Texas to Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sierra Leone,” Guterres told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.

The United Nations stands ready to support relief efforts in any way possible, he said adding that the number of natural disasters has nearly quadrupled since 1970.

“The United States, followed by China and India, have experienced the most disasters since 1995. Last year alone, 24.2 million people were displaced by sudden-onset disasters three times as many as by conflict and violence. Even before the current floods, preliminary reports for this year show that there have been 2,087 deaths from natural disasters,” he said.

“It is true that scientists caution us about linking any single weather event with climate change,” he said.

“With science forecasting a dramatic rise in both the frequency and severity of disasters, it is time to get serious about keeping ambition high on climate action and on building resilience and reducing disaster risk,” Guterres said.

Responding to a question, the world body chief said the United Nations is fully committed to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“We are totally committed to the Paris Agreement, and we hope that all countries will understand that it’s not only the right thing to do. It’s also the smart thing to do, because the green economy is the economy of the future,” he said.