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Annual disaster death toll doubles

Around 20,000 people died in natural disasters last year, about twice as many as in 2012, according to the annual report by insurance giant Munich Re.

Most of the deaths resulted from Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines, Vietnam and China in November with a loss of almost 6,100 lives. This was followed by floods in India that killed about 5,500 people in June.

German-based Munich Re's annual disasters report found that the economic cost of natural catastrophes was lower last year.

Some 880 events cost about 125 billion dollars, with insured losses of 31 billion dollars. This compares with costs of 173 billion dollars and insured losses of 65 billion dollars in 2012.

The costliest natural disasters were summer hailstorms in Germany, floods in Central Europe, and storms and tornadoes in the United States.

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