GENEVA – The U.N. agency specializing in reduction of disaster risks says the Earth faced more than twice as many major droughts last year than the average of the last decade.
Focusing part on the human cost of the hottest year on record last year, the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction says in a trend analysis Thursday that 98.6 million people were affected by disasters in 2015. It counted 32 major droughts last year, up from an annual average of 15 over the preceding decade.
Office head Robert Glasser said a reduction of greenhouse gases and adaptation to climate change "is vital for countries seeking to reduce disaster risk now and in the future."
It said extreme temperatures including heat waves contributed 7,346 deaths, up from 7,232 over the previous decade.