BEIJING: Pakistan has suffered an economic loss of $384 million due to extreme weather events last year, according to a new climate change index.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh suffered a loss of $2.8 billion, India lost $13.7 billion, Sri Lanka lost three billion dollars, and China lost $30 billion, China Global Television Network (CGTN) reported on Thursday.
Asian countries are facing the most damaging impacts of rising temperatures, factors that are expected to lead to a large number of deaths and massive economic losses.
On a global scale, Puerto Rico is at the top of the chart and five Asian countries are among the top ten worst-affected countries due to extreme weather events. However, China is now ranked at 31st, a significant improvement from last year’s ranking of 12th.
The index ranked countries on the basis of financial loss and the number of deaths expected due to extreme weather events.
Globally, more than 526,000 people died as a direct result of more than 11,500 extreme weather events in 2017, and the economic losses due to climate change between 1998 and 2017 amount to around $3.47 trillion, according to the report.
Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, and Dominica suffered the worst in 2017. Among South Asian countries, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Vietnam ranked 2nd, 4th and 6th respectively, while Bangladesh ranked 9th and Thailand 10th.
Madagascar and Sierra Leone ranked 7th and 8th respectively. “Recent storms with intensity levels never seen before have had disastrous impacts,” lead author of the index David Eckstein of Germanwatch said.
In 2017, Puerto Rico and Dominica were hit by ‘Maria,’ one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes on record.
The data also revealed that eight of the ten countries most affected countries between 1998 and 2017 are developing countries with low or lower-middle income per capita. In May 2017, heavy rainfall in Sri Lanka killed 200 people and displaced more than 600,000.
Further, rainfalls triggered devastating floods in Nepal, Bangladesh and India, affecting more than 40 million people. Around 1,200 people lost their lives and millions were displaced.
“Poor countries have been hit the hardest but extreme weather events also threaten future development of upper-middle-income countries and can overburden high-income countries as well,” Eckstein said.
He added that countries like Haiti, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are repeatedly hit by extreme weather events and have no time to recover fully.