Hurricanes such as Harvey in Texas made the United States the country hardest hit by costly disasters in 2017 (AFP Photo/MARK RALSTON) More

Zurich (AFP) – Total economic losses from natural and man-made disasters have soared by 63 percent to strike an estimated $306 billion in 2017, reinsurance firm Swiss Re said Wednesday.

“The US was hardest hit, including by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which have made 2017 the second costliest hurricane season” after 2005, the company said.

Despite the rising financial cost of disasters in 2017, the cost in terms of lives held steady.

“Globally, more than 11,000 people have died or gone missing in disaster events in 2017, similar to 2016,” Swiss Re said.

Its preliminary estimates

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