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EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS IN ASIA

1 June, 2016

Myanmar, Philippines and Bangladesh are the three Asian countries which suffer the most from extreme weather conditions such as heat waves, acute precipitation and flash flooding followed by Vietnam, Pakistan and Thailand.

Cambodia, India, Nepal and Russia are also vulnerable and affected by extreme weather conditions, as per the Global Climate Risk Index 2016.

Overall these extreme weather conditions like heat waves have increased in large parts of Europe, Asia and Australia. Likewise, the number of heavy precipitation events has increased in most land regions.

Studies show that climate change may have increased the likelihood of extreme weather events in 2014. Millions of people living in Asia Pacific will be affected as heat waves get more intense and coastal flooding gets more common.

The risks stemming from extreme weather events are also likely to increase as the global mean temperature rises. This will add a heavy burden to the economies of many countries, especially the developing ones.

Among Asian countries, China has borne the financial burden of extreme weather from 1995 to 2014 to the tune of US$31,749 million, followed by India (US$9,514 million) and Thailand (US$7,480 million).

Pakistan, Philippines, Bangladesh and Japan have also borne huge financial costs due to the extreme weather conditions, according to the global climate risk index 2016. While Pakistan’s share was US$3,931 million, the Philippines and Bangladesh suffered losses amounting to US$2,757 million and US$2,438 million respectively.

Extreme weather patterns in India, Pakistan and Nepal also resulted in heavy casualties due to landsides and floods, while also destroying houses and croplands.

Among the extreme weather events, storms cost more than any other type of weather-related disaster in terms of recorded lost assets, amounting to US$ 1,011 billion, according to the UNISDR data.

Geophysical causes led to the loss of US$763 billion, while floods, weather related disasters and droughts caused a loss of US$662 billion, US$110 billion and US$100 billion respectively, as per the research on the epidemiology of disasters (CRED), Belgian and UNISDR.

Apart from the financial costs, these extreme weather events are most likely to affect people living in low lying areas in developing countries, especially in coastal Asia.

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