Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis appoints a new minister in charge of recovery from natural disasters in a bid to defuse growing anger over the struggle to curb wildfires that have charred thousands of hectares of forest.
Namur and Walloon Brabant provinces southeast of the capital city Brussels were particularly hit by devastating floods that left 36 people dead and seven missing last week.
2020 was marked by intense storms, persistent conflicts and explosions of violence, taking the total number people living in internal displacement around the world to a record 55 million, according to a joint report.
US President Joe Biden includes Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping among the invitees to the first big climate talks of his administration.
Last year topped the previous temperature record in Europe, registered in 2019, by a whopping 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.72 Fahrenheit), the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said.
Preliminary figures, compiled by the reinsurance giant Swiss Re, show that a full $175 billion losses were from natural catastrophes during a year characterised by unusual numbers of storms, wildfires and hurricanes.
The International Red Cross estimates that about 4.2 million people were affected by the back-to-back Category 4 hurricanes in November in Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
British charity Christian Aid says the disasters displaced millions and caused widespread deaths - seven of them caused damage of more than $10 billion.
Some 230,000 people were killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami set off by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake on December 26, 2004. A dozen countries were hit, from Indonesia, to India and Africa's east coast.
After several quiet years, tornadoes have erupted in the US over the last two weeks as a volatile mix of warm, moist air from the southeast and persistent cold from the Rockies clashed and stalled over the Midwest.
Television channels said the storm and accompanying heavy rainfall, uprooted trees and electric and telephone poles, crushing some people to death.
The latest death toll from the volcano-triggered disaster in Indonesia stands at 429, with 1,485 people injured and another 154 missing.
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