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Chart of the day: Bushfires, cyclones and floods put Australia in the world's natural disaster top 10

By business reporter Stephen Letts, Friday November 30, 2018 - 11:16 EDT

The annual cycle of summer bushfires, cyclones and floods, all too evident this week, has pushed Australia into the global top 10 for economic damage caused by natural disasters.

The 2018 found Australia's damage bill over the past decade came in at $37 billion (or $US27 billion).

That ranks us 10th in terms of the cost of natural disasters, but still a fair way behind the big three disaster zones: the US, China and Japan which together account for about two-thirds of the total financial cost the IFRC added up between 2008 and 2017.

Our Asia-Pacific region seems to be the most disaster-prone on the planet, being bit by around 40 per cent of the 335 disasters recorded worldwide in 2017 and suffered almost 60 per cent of disaster-related deaths.

The report notes that in a changing climate, small-scale weather disasters are becoming more frequent and more intense, and in many cases "exceed the coping capacities of households and of authorities".

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The IFRC's definition of natural disasters includes storms, floods, earthquakes, volcanic activity and droughts, but not epidemics.

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