Weather disasters occur almost daily, becoming more frequent: UN

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GENEVA (Reuters) - Weather-related disasters such as floods and heatwaves have occurred almost daily in the past decade, almost twice as often as two decades ago, with Asia being the hardest hit region, a U.N. report said on Monday.

While the report authors could not pin the increase wholly on climate change, they did say that the upward trend was likely to continue as extreme weather events increased.

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Since 1995, weather disasters have killed 606,000 people, left 4.1 billion injured, homeless or in need of aid, and accounted for 90 percent of all disasters, it said.

A recent peak year was 2002, when drought in India hit 200 million and a sandstorm in China affected 100 million. But the standout mega-disaster was Cyclone Nargis, which killed 138,000 in Myanmar in 2008.

While geophysical causes such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis often grab the headlines, they only make up one in 10 of the disasters trawled from a database defined by the impact.

The report, called "The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters", found there were an average of 335 weather-related disasters annually between 2005 and August this year, up 14 percent from 1995-2004 and almost twice as many as in the years from 1985 to 1994.

"While scientists cannot calculate what percentage of this rise is due to climate change, predictions of more extreme weather in future almost certainly mean that we will witness a continued upward trend in weather-related disasters in the decades ahead," the report said.

See the worst natural disasters in U.S. history:

21 PHOTOS
Worst U.S. natural disasters
See Gallery
Weather disasters occur almost daily, becoming more frequent: UN
This aerial photo shows a collapsed house along the central Jersey Shore coast on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. New Jersey got the brunt of Sandy, which made landfall in the state and killed six people. More than 2 million customers were without power as of Wednesday afternoon, down from a peak of 2.7 million. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
A mailbox with a lighthouse design sits on the porch of a burned out home in the Breezy Point section of Queens borough of New York, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. More than 50 homes were lost in a fire that swept through the oceanside community during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
This aerial photo shows the Breezy Point neighborhood, in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, where more than 50 homes were burned to the ground Monday night as a result of superstorm Sandy. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
In this historical photo from May 31, 1889, survivors stand by homes destroyed when the South Fork Dam collapsed in Johnstown, Pa. As officials prepare to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the enormous Johnstown Flood of 1889 that killed 2,209 people, new research has helped explain why the deluge was so deadly. (AP Photo)
People stand atop houses among ruins after flooding in Johnstown, Pa., May 30, 1889. (AP Photo)
This NOAA satellite image taken on Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, at 2:02 p.m EDT, shows Hurricane Katrina, now a Category 2 storm. (AP Photo/NOAA)
Arnold James tries to keep his feet as a strong gust nearly blows him over as he tries to make his way on foot to the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans on Monday, Aug. 29, 2005. The roof on James's home blew off, forcing him to seek shelter at the Superdome. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
An SUV is seen crushed by bricks after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Monday Morning, Aug. 29, 2005. Katrina plowed into the Gulf Coast at daybreak Monday with shrieking, 145-mph winds and blinding rain, submerging entire neighborhoods up to the rooflines in New Orleans, hurling boats onto land and sending water pouring into Mississippi's strip of beachfront casinos. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Homes remain surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina Sunday, Sept. 4, 2005, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)
People walk through the rubble following an earthquake in San Francisco on April 18, 1906. On April 17, 1906, San Francisco was cosmopolitan enough to host Enrico Caruso in "Carmen" and so financially flushed it ranked fourth among American cities in raising money to help victims of a volcano in Italy. A day later, San Francisco was pleading for help itself after a giant earthquake struck along the San Andreas Fault. (AP Photo)
People on Sacramento Street watch smoke rise from fires after a severe earthquake in San Francisco, Calif., on April 18, 1906. (AP Photo/Arnold Genthe)
This April 18, 1906 file picture shows damaged houses leaning at an angle on Howard Street near 17th Street in San Francisco following a powerful earthquake. Dozens gathered early Monday morning, April 18, 2011 to commemorate the 105th anniversary of the Great 1906 Earthquake. There are only three known survivors left of the devastating quake and ensuing fire that killed thousands. (AP Photo)
16th July 1937: Early morning whirlwinds rising from finely tilled, eroded dusty soil in Walla Walla County, Washington. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
In this April 15, 1935 file photo, a peaceful little ranch in Boise City, Oklahoma where the top soil was being dried and blown away, is about to be engulfed in a gigantic dust cloud in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Before becoming a part of Oklahoma Territory, this strip known as No Man’s Land was a haven for outlaws and land squatters. Later, during the Great Depression, severe drought and blinding dust storms turned the region into the Dust Bowl. The strong survived, and today the Panhandle of Oklahoma is made up of dedicated ranchers, a growing Hispanic population and awe-inspiring views of rural life at its finest. (AP Photo, File)
Workers wheel another body to refrigerated trucks outside the Cook County morgue on Tuesday, July 18, 1995 in Chicago. By noon Tuesday, 199 people, most of them poor and elderly, had died in the heat wave. (AP Photo/Mike Fisher)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 16: A Cook County medical examiner pushes a gurney 16 July carrying the body of one of 116 people killed by heat related causes in Chicago after record hot weather hit the Midwest for several days in a row. The death toll could rise to about 300 because many of the victims were not dicovered until after the worst weather had passed and are being stored in refrigerated tractor trailers. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read BRIAN BAHR/AFP/Getty Images)
Mark Czernick and his son Zachery, 7, pray at a mass grave site, after tossing a flower onto the coffins at the Homewood Memorial Cemetery in Homewood, Ill., Friday, Aug. 25, 1995. Buried are more than 40 of the forgotten and unclaimed victims of Chicago's July summer heat disaster. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser)
Cook County morgue technicians work between a row of refrigerated trucks outside the morgue on Tuesday, July 18, 1995, as the city of Chicago continues to deal with the rising death count from the recent heat wave to hit the area. At least 199 lives have been claimed by the hot humid tempratures. (AP Photo/Mike Fisher)
A large part of the city of Galveston, Texas was reduced to rubble, as shown in this September 1900 photo, after being hit by a surprise hurricane Sept. 8, 1900. More than 6,000 people were killed and 10,000 left homeless from the Great Storm which remains the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. (AP Photo)
** FILE ** In this September 1900 file photo, a large part of the city of Galveston, Texas, is reduced to rubble after being hit by a surprise hurricane Sept. 8, 1900. More than 6,000 people were killed and 10,000 left homeless from the storm, the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. Hurricane Ike's eye was forecast to strike somewhere near Galveston late Friday, Sept. 12, 2008, or early Saturday, then head inland for Houston. (AP Photo/File)
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The release of the report comes a week before world leaders gather in Paris to discuss plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions and prevent world temperatures rising.

The United Nations says atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas that causes global warming, have risen to a new record every year for the past 30 years.

"All we can say is that certain disaster types are increasing. Floods are definitely increasing," said Debarati Guha-Sapir, professor at the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters at UCL University in Louvain, Belgium, which co-authored the report.

"Whether it's increasing due to global warming, I think it's safe to say the jury's out on that. But rather than focus on the ifs, whys and wherefores, I think we should focus on how to manage floods."

Margareta Wahlstrom, head of the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), said floods were not just caused by heavy rain but also by poorly planned construction.

UNISDR estimates natural disasters of all types cause losses of $250 billion-$300 billion globally each year.

The report drew on a database of weather events that defines an event as a disaster if 10 or more people are killed, 100 or more are affected, a state of emergency is declared, or if there is a call for international assistance.

The countries hit by the highest number of weather-related disasters over the past decade were the United States, with 472, China with 441, India with 288, the Philippines with 274 and Indonesia with 163.

RELATED: Recent November weather across the U.S.

33 PHOTOS
Recent weather across the U.S., November
See Gallery
Weather disasters occur almost daily, becoming more frequent: UN
In this Nov. 20, 2015 photo, Shelly Aase embraces her dog Mattie Jo as they view damage in north Spokane, Wash., after storms left many without power. Aase is wearing a head lamp to see inside her house. (Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review, via AP)
In this Nov. 21, 2015 photo, Jake Hines, left, and Ross Rukke, of Capstone Construction, work to remove a fallen tree in Spokane, Wash., after deadly storms swept through the state leaving many without power. (Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review, via AP)
In this Nov. 20, 2015 photo, crews clear downed trees tangled in power and utility lines in Spokane, Wash., after deadly storms swept through the state leaving many without power. (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review, via AP)
A group of men paddle a canoe across a flooded roadway along the Snoqualmie River near the peak of the river's height there, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Carnation, Wash. Cleanup crews took to the streets Wednesday in Washington state after a powerful storm killed three people, cut power to more than 350,000 residents and flooded rivers. The winds on Tuesday exceeded 100 mph in some areas of the Inland Northwest, where fallen trees were blamed for the deaths. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A man tosses a piece of soaked carpet onto a pile while helping to clean-up a small apartment building flooded the night before, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Sultan, Wash. Cleanup crews took to the streets Wednesday in Washington state after a powerful storm killed three people, cut power to more than 350,000 residents and flooded rivers. The winds on Tuesday exceeded 100 mph in some areas of the Inland Northwest, where fallen trees were blamed for the deaths. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A rainbow appears near the Snoqualmie River, made from mist thrown up by the adjacent falls, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Snoqualmie, Wash. Cleanup crews took to the streets Wednesday in Washington state after a powerful storm killed three people, cut power to more than 350,000 residents and flooded rivers. The winds on Tuesday exceeded 100 mph in some areas of the Inland Northwest, where fallen trees were blamed for the deaths. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Siri Erickson-Brown uses a "farm boat," an old Sears canoe with a shovel for a paddle, to float across the flooded Snoqualmie River and to her home about a half-mile away, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Carnation, Wash. Cleanup crews took to the streets Wednesday in Washington state after a powerful storm killed three people, cut power to more than 350,000 residents and flooded rivers. The winds on Tuesday exceeded 100 mph in some areas of the Inland Northwest, where fallen trees were blamed for the deaths. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A downed tree that fell on power lines is shown blocking the NW Seabeck Highway near Bremerton, Wash.,Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. Rain, high winds, and power outages were expected throughout the Puget Sound area into the night Tuesday due to a Pacific storm system. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Debris from the beach below is tossed up and over a seawall by wind-blown waves and toward traffic Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in the West Seattle neighborhood of Seattle. Rain and high winds snarled the morning commute in the Puget Sound area and the Inland Northwest braced for severe weather that could include wind gusts to 70 mph. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A large tree lies across a street after being blown over by high winds near downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. The winds followed a front that moved through California during the weekend, dropping rain and snow while lowering temperatures. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
An American flag flies half-staff in a strong wind at Los Angeles City Hall on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. The winds followed a front that moved through California during the weekend, dropping rain and snow while lowering temperatures. Flags fly at half-staff in Los Angeles in honor of victims of terrorist attacks in Paris. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Palm fronds line the banks of Echo Park Lake after severe winds near downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. A cold front that whipped up a damaging tornado in a central California town moved south Monday, buffeting the Los Angeles area with gusts topping 60 mph. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
A man climbs Bernal Heights Hill on a cloudy day in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. A storm system moving across California is bringing cool, wet weather to the low lands and snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A man carries an umbrella as he walks across a street in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. A storm system moving across California is bringing cool, wet weather to the low lands and snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Storm clouds gather over Port of Oakland cranes as viewed from Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. A storm crossed the region Monday morning, bringing rain, thunder and lightning to the drought-parched region. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
SANTA ANA, CA., NOVEMBER 9, 2015: Sarad Lopez (cq) holds an umbrella while her mother shops on Fourth Steet in Santa Ana during a light rain November 9, 2015 (Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
SANTA ANA, CA., NOVEMBER 9, 2015: Keisha Flores holds her umbrella while she shops on Fourth Steet in Santa Ana during a light rain November 9, 2015 (Mark Boster/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Emergency workers transport an injured woman following a multi-vehicle collision on Interstate 80 in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. A storm crossed the region Monday morning bringing rain, thunder and lightning to the drought-parched region. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 06: A plane flys above the Tidal Basin on a warm evening November 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. Unseasonably warm weather in the Eastern U.S. has made the first few days of November feel more like late Summer. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Leaves change color on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 4, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 06: A woman rides a bicycle around the Tidal Basin on a warm evening November 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. Unseasonably warm weather in the Eastern U.S. has made the first few days of November feel more like late Summer. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
People walk along Times Square in New York on November 6, 2015. New York recorded its hottest November 6 in nearly 70 years, as skaters splashed through puddles on a much-loved ice rink and commuters strolled around in T-shirts. AFP PHOTO/ JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman has an ice-cream on a cone as she walks along a street in New York on November 6, 2015. New York recorded its hottest November 6 in nearly 70 years, as skaters splashed through puddles on a much-loved ice rink and commuters strolled around in T-shirts. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 06: A helicopter flies above the Tidal Basin on a warm evening November 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. Unseasonably warm weather in the Eastern U.S. has made the first few days of November feel more like late Summer. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
JACKSON, MS - NOVEMBER 07: Volunteers exit the course after play was called due to inclement weather during a continuation of the second round of the Sanderson Farms Championship at The Country Club of Jackson on November 7, 2015 in Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Fallen autumn leaves on the road on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Mundelein, Ill. As the cold front that triggered showers and thunderstorms overnight moves off to the east, colder air will ride gusting west winds into the Chicago area Friday. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
MAMMOTH LAKES, CALIF. -- TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2015: Snow making in full force after a fall Sierra Nevada storm dropped nearly a foot of snow at Mammoth Mountain and less in town in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on Nov. 3, 2015.(Photo by Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
MAMMOTH LAKES, CALIF. -- TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2015: A bike rose rides through snow in town after a fall Sierra Nevada storm dropped nearly a foot of snow at Mammoth Mountain and less in town in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on Nov. 3, 2015.(Photo by Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
MAMMOTH LAKES, CALIF. -- TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2015: A fall Sierra Nevada storm dropped nearly a foot of snow at Mammoth Mountain and snowmaking is piling on in anticipation of a November 5 opening day in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on Nov. 3, 2015.(Photo by Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 30: Residents of the Onion Creek neighborhood were evacuated in the morning October 30, 2015 in Austin, Texas. After Hurricane Patricia's passing last week, the region was hit with more torrential rain and possible tornadoes. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 30: Residents of the Onion Creek neighborhood were evacuated in the morning October 30, 2015 in Austin, Texas. After Hurricane Patricia's passing last week, the region was hit with more torrential rain and possible tornadoes. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 30: Residents of the Onion Creek neighborhood were evacuated in the morning October 30, 2015 in Austin, Texas. After Hurricane Patricia's passing last week, the region was hit with more torrential rain and possible tornadoes. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
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