Frankfurt — Natural catastrophes worldwide were less devastating in the first half of 2017 than the average over the past 10 years, reinsurer Munich Re said on Tuesday, while highlighting the role of climate change in severe US storms. About 3,200 people lost their lives to disasters between January and June, the German group found — well short of the 10-year average of 47,000 for the period or the 5,100 deaths in the first half of 2016. April floods and landslides in Colombia that claimed 329 lives were the deadliest single event. Elsewhere, an April-June heatwave in India killed 264 people, while floods, landslides and avalanches claimed about 200 lives in Sri Lanka, 200 in Afghanistan and 200 Bangladesh. Disasters inflicted a financial cost of about $41bn in the first six months, Munich Re reported. That was less than half of the $111bn toll in the same period in 2016, or the average of $102bn over the past 10 years. The most costly single event was flooding in Peru between Janua...

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