Global disasters killed more, cost less in 2013, report says

Relatives of the victims of Tyhpoon Haiyan attend an afternoon mass called "Days of Prayer and Remembrance" held at a mass grave in front of the San Joaquin Church in Palo, Leyte on December 8, 2013, commemorating one month after the typhoon.

BERLIN -- The German insurance company Munich Re says some 20,000 people died in natural disasters last year, about twice as many as in 2012.

Most of the deaths resulted from Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines, Vietnam and China in November with a loss of almost 6,100 lives. Floods in India killed about 5,500 people in June.

Munich Re's annual disasters report released Tuesday found that the economic cost of natural catastrophes was lower last year.

Some 880 events cost about $125 billion, with insured losses of $31 billion. This compares with costs of $173 billion and insured losses of $65 billion in 2012.

The costliest natural disasters were summer hailstorms in Germany, floods in Central Europe, and storms and tornadoes in the United States.