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Natural disasters cost $109 billion in 2010

According to United Nations estimates, natural disasters cost $109 billion in economic damage throughout 2010, with Chile and China bearing most of the burden, according to Reuters.

"The accumulated wealth that is affected by disaster events is growing. With more extreme weather events, and more earthquakes in urban areas, the state of repair or disrepair in urban areas is really critical," Margareta Wahlstrom, the U.N. assistant secretary-general for disaster risk reduction, told the news source.

Haiti's January 12 earthquake claimed the most lives of any natural disaster in 2010, and the economic toll for the impoverished country was $8 billion. The most costly natural disaster was the 8.8 magnitude earthquakes that struck Chile in February, costing the country an estimated $30 billion. The heavy flooding and landslides from summer rains in China cost the country $18 billion in lost revenue.

These numbers are staggering compared to 2009's natural disaster price tag, which was $34.9 billion worldwide. Fast-developing countries will have to adjust to swelling urban populations and improving infrastructure to deal with natural disasters in the future.

According to WorldBank.org, approximately 2.6 billion people have been affected by natural disasters over the past 10 years.
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