Sri Lanka had been ranked second among the countries most affected by extreme weather events in 20 years since 1998 in the Global Climate Risk Index 2019.

The Long-Term Climate Risk Index listed Sri Lanka, Puerto Rico as the top two affected countries.

Sri Lanka was ranked fourth in the Climate Risk Index (CRI) in 2016 and it was in the 76th position in the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2017.

The Global Climate Risk Index 2019, was released at the annual climate summit in Poland’s Katowice city yesterday. The report was prepared to analyse damages caused by the extreme weather events that took place from 1998 to 2017.

According to the annual CRI for 2017, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka and Dominica ranked as the most affected countries in 2017 followed by Nepal, Peru and Vietnam. For the period from 1998 to 2017, Puerto Rico, Honduras and Myanmar rank highest. Nepal was ranked fourth and India 14th in the list.

According to the index, altogether, more than 5,26,000 people died as a direct result of more than 11,500 extreme weather events; and losses between 1998 and 2017 amounted to around US$ 3.47 trillion.

The Index said, in May 2017, heavy landslides and floods occurred in Sri Lanka after strong monsoon rains in southwestern regions of the country. More than 200 people died after the worst rains on the Indian Ocean island since 2003. The monsoons displaced more than 600 000 people from their homes and 12 districts were affected. The inland southwest district of Ratnapura was most affected where over 20,000 people faced flash floods.

The Global Climate Risk Index 2019 analyses to what extent countries and regions have been affected by impacts of weather-related loss events such as storms, floods, heat waves etc. The most recent data available for 2017 and from 1998 to 2017 were taken into account. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)