Special Report

The Most Costly Natural Disasters of All Time

Source: Getty Images / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

5. Flood
> Region: Europe
> Economic losses: $11.9 billion
> Year: 2000
> Country: Italy

Italy’s industrial center in the north was struck by torrential rains in 2000, killing 15 people and displacing 12,000 in towns along the Po River. The flooding was so severe that Fiat’s production facility in Turin was closed down.

4. Storm
> Region: Europe
> Economic losses: $12.3 billion
> Year: 1999
> Country: France

A violent windstorm, Cyclone Martin caused extensive infrastructure and power systems damage in France as well as Spain, Switzerland, and Italy with winds reaching 120 miles per hour. Cyclone Martin hit one day after Cyclone Lothar hit the same countries. Together, the storms were dubbed the “Storm of the Century” in Western and Central Europe.

Source: Sean Gallup / Getty Images News via Getty Images

3. Flood
> Region: Europe
> Economic losses: $13.9 billion
> Year: 2013
> Country: Germany

Central and southern Germany are prone to frequent floods due to heavy precipitation in populated areas along river valleys. But between May and June 2013, rain pounded the upstream areas of the Danube and Elbe rivers, with the Elbe river cresting more than 16 feet above normal.

Source: muri30 / Getty Images

2. Flood
> Region: Europe
> Economic losses: $16.0 billion
> Year: 1994
> Country: Italy

In November 1994, a catastrophic storm brought heavy rains to northern Italy, flooding 450,000 hectares and killing 70 people. The storm was the worst in the region’s history since 1913, shutting down highways, railways, and roads for days.

Source: Sean Gallup / Getty Images News via Getty Images

1. Flood
> Region: Europe
> Economic losses: $16.5 billion
> Year: 2002
> Country: Germany

In August 2002, more than a week of heavy rains poured over Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ukraine, and Russia. The resulting flooding killed 110 people.

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