Japan's Earthquake: Costliest Disaster Ever?

A recent article in the Economist discusses World Bank estimates of the economic damage of Japan's earthquake earlier this month. The estimated damage is about $235 billion or 4% of Japan's GDP, making it the most costly natural disaster since similar records began in 1965. This chart from the article (above) compares the cost of the recent earthquake to that of other natural disasters, including insured losses. The second costliest natural disaster according to this chart was another earthquake in Japan in 1995. The third costliest natural disaster was Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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