BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – More powerful storms are battering people and economies harder, with the poor suffering the worst losses, an annual climate risk index showed, as leaders were urged to ramp up their response to climate change impacts at a global adaptation summit on Monday.
The index for 2019, from research group Germanwatch, showed that Mozambique and Zimbabwe were the two countries hardest-hit by extreme weather. Both were struck by Idai, the deadliest and costliest cyclone recorded in the southwest Indian Ocean.
Just this weekend, central Mozambique was hammered again by another tropical storm, Eloise, which wrecked thousands of buildings, ruined crops and displaced almost 7,000 people.
Storms and their effects – strong winds, heavy rainfall, floods and landslides – were the major cause of extreme weather damage in 2019, Germanwatch said. Of the 10 most-affected countries, six were pounded by tropical cyclones.
The Caribbean island nation of the Bahamas was the third worst-hit, due to devastation from Hurricane Dorian.
The United States was not included in the 2019 index due to data problems.