World Bulletin / News Desk
The government agency recorded 16 weather-related events that cost over $1 billion each in 2017, tying a record set in 2011 after the NOAA began record-keeping in 1980. Last year could arguably surpass 2011 for total events, the NOAA said, given that it treats all wildfires as a regional event rather than isolated incidents.
In southern California alone, as many as six wildfires had firefighters scrambling to contain them last month. One of those fires, the Thomas Fire, set the state's record for largest-ever inferno.
The NOAA counted only one wildfire last year.
Disputes over the NOAA's methodology aside, the 2017 events caused $306 billion in damage, with the vast majority of those costs coming from hurricanes, which accounted for $265 billion.
Even as the total losses far surpass the previous record set in 2005 ($215 billion, largely due to Hurricane Katrina), the NOAA warned that total costs may rise even further as estimates for hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria are still being evaluated.
The hurricanes ravaged Puerto Rico and laid waste to major population centers along the Gulf Coast -- most notably Houston, where five consecutive days of rain inundated the U.S.'s fourth largest city.
In all, 362 people died in last year's 16 billion-dollar or more weather events.
Last year was also the third-hottest year on record, the NOAA said. Warmer temperatures were only recorded in 2016 and 2012.
There were some 216 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2016, an increase of five million from the year before, according to the World Health Organization.
Cataract surgeries project to be expanded in scope to include fight against fistula
Turkey to create an automatic control system to keep records of African patients, Health Ministry official says
Ibb and al-Hodeidah provinces are the hardest-hit by the disease
Association of the Friends of Africa provides health and humanitarian services all over the African continent
Food and Agriculture Organization representative praises professionalism of Turkish government
People will move from vulnerable to more viable areas within their countries, report says
The conference opened hours after the United Nations issued its 2018 World Water Development Report warning that about 3.6 billion people, or half the world's population, already live in areas where water can be scarce at least one month a year.
While it is generally accepted that being overweight increases a person's disease risk, some researchers have recently suggested that carrying extra weight does not actually boost death rates for some, particularly the elderly.
29,000 ducks will be culled by Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority
After a top court last month ruled driving bans in some city zones for the most polluting diesel vehicles were legal, German commuters, politicians, environmentalists and the mighty car industry have been exchanging blows over potential blanket exclusions.
South Africa has experienced worst outbreak of Listeriosis in history with 180 deaths recorded
Cholera outbreak has killed at least 88 people since last October
New analysis finds almost half of American teenage girls were obese and more than 14 percent of boys aged 2 to 5
Tens of thousands of people have fled an upsurge of fighting in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo this year, many of them arriving weak and unwell at Ugandan camps that are struggling to accommodate them.
CDC flu season update reveals season appears to have peaked in 13 states