Natural Disasters Displaced 42 Million In 2010; Climate Change Could Be Factor, Experts Say

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OSLO, Norway -- About 42 million people were forced to flee their homes because of natural disasters around the world in 2010, more than double the number during the previous year, experts said Monday.

One reason for the increase in the figure could be climate change, and the international community should be doing more to contain it, the experts said.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said the increase from 17 million displaced people in 2009 was mainly due to the impact of "mega-disasters" such as the massive floods in China and Pakistan and the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.

It said more than 90 percent of the disaster displacements were caused by weather-related hazards such as floods and storms that were probably impacted by global warming, but it couldn't say to what extent...

Speaking at the Oslo conference, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres called the issue of climate-related displacement "the defining challenge of our times" and criticized the international community for lacking the political will to reduce to pace of climate change.

"There is increasing evidence to suggest that natural disasters are growing in frequency and intensity and that this is linked to the longer-term process of climate change," Guterres said.


Courtesy of Huffington Post

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