United Nations, May 20 (PTI) A 1888 hailstorm in India

has been identified by the UN weather agency among all-time

deadliest weather events.

The severe hailstorm near Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh

killed 246 people.

This is the first time that the World Meteorological

Organisation (WMO) Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes has

broadened its scope from temperature and weather records to

address impacts of specific events.

“Extreme weather causes serious destruction and major

loss of life. That is one of the reasons behind the WMO’s

efforts to improve early warnings of multiple hazards and

impact-based forecasting, and to learn lessons gleaned from

historical disasters to prevent future ones,” WMO Secretary-

General Petteri Taalas said.

“The human aspect inherent in extreme events should never

be lost,” he added.

While the in-depth investigation by a WMO expert

committee documented mortality records for five specific

weather-related events, it did not address heat- or cold-

waves, drought and floods.

The experts found that the highest mortality rate

associated with extreme weather was during a 1970 tropical

cyclone through what was at the time East Pakistan, which

killed an estimated 300,000 people.

Other record-breaking weather events included a 1989

tornado in Bangladesh that killed an estimated 1,300 people,

destroying the Manikganj district; a 1994 lightning-caused oil

tank fire in Dronka, Egypt, which took 469 lives, while 21

people were killed by a single lightning bolt to a hut in the

Manica Tribal Trust Lands in what was then Rhodesia.

The findings were announced ahead of two major

conferences on improving multi-hazard early warning systems

and strengthening disaster risk reduction, taking place in

Cancun, Mexico this month and organised by WMO and the UN

Office on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Overall mortality can also decrease as a result of

continuous improvement in related forecasting and warning

infrastructure.

“These events highlight the deadly tragedies associated

with different types of weather. Detailed knowledge of these

historical extremes confirms our continuing responsibilities

to not only forecast and monitor weather and climate but to

utilise that information to save lives around the world so

disasters of these types are lessened or even eliminated in

the future,” said Randall Cerveny, WMO Rapporteur on Climate

and Weather Extremes.

The experts stressed that overall mortality can decrease

as a result of continuous improvement in related forecasting

and warning infrastructure. However even with improvements,

mortality from weather-related events will continue.

“In order to put potential future weather-related

catastrophes into accurate historical context, it is useful to

have knowledge of baseline changes in weather-related

mortality as monitored over the last one hundred and fifty

years of official international weather records,” said the WMO

committee. PTI YAS UN identifies world’s all-time deadliest

storms

From Yoshita Singh

United Nations, May 20 (PTI) A 1888 hailstorm in India

has been identified by the UN weather agency among all-time

deadliest weather events.

The severe hailstorm near Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh

killed 246 people.

This is the first time that the World Meteorological

Organisation (WMO) Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes has

broadened its scope from temperature and weather records to

address impacts of specific events.

“Extreme weather causes serious destruction and major

loss of life. That is one of the reasons behind the WMO’s

efforts to improve early warnings of multiple hazards and

impact-based forecasting, and to learn lessons gleaned from

historical disasters to prevent future ones,” WMO Secretary-

General Petteri Taalas said.

“The human aspect inherent in extreme events should never

be lost,” he added.

While the in-depth investigation by a WMO expert

committee documented mortality records for five specific

weather-related events, it did not address heat- or cold-

waves, drought and floods.

The experts found that the highest mortality rate

associated with extreme weather was during a 1970 tropical

cyclone through what was at the time East Pakistan, which

killed an estimated 300,000 people.

Other record-breaking weather events included a 1989

tornado in Bangladesh that killed an estimated 1,300 people,

destroying the Manikganj district; a 1994 lightning-caused oil

tank fire in Dronka, Egypt, which took 469 lives, while 21

people were killed by a single lightning bolt to a hut in the

Manica Tribal Trust Lands in what was then Rhodesia.

The findings were announced ahead of two major

conferences on improving multi-hazard early warning systems

and strengthening disaster risk reduction, taking place in

Cancun, Mexico this month and organised by WMO and the UN

Office on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Overall mortality can also decrease as a result of

continuous improvement in related forecasting and warning

infrastructure.

“These events highlight the deadly tragedies associated

with different types of weather. Detailed knowledge of these

historical extremes confirms our continuing responsibilities

to not only forecast and monitor weather and climate but to

utilise that information to save lives around the world so

disasters of these types are lessened or even eliminated in

the future,” said Randall Cerveny, WMO Rapporteur on Climate

and Weather Extremes.

The experts stressed that overall mortality can decrease

as a result of continuous improvement in related forecasting

and warning infrastructure. However even with improvements,

mortality from weather-related events will continue.

“In order to put potential future weather-related

catastrophes into accurate historical context, it is useful to

have knowledge of baseline changes in weather-related

mortality as monitored over the last one hundred and fifty

years of official international weather records,” said the WMO

committee.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.