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Russia Expects Doubling of Natural Disasters

Russia could see the number of natural disasters that befall the country double in the next decade, TASS reported Friday.

"There was an almost fourfold increase in the number of dangerous natural disasters from 1990 to 2010, and it keeps increasing by 6-7 percent each year," Natural Resources and Environment Minister Sergei Donskoi was quoted by the news agency as saying during a sustainable development summit in New Delhi.

Donskoi estimated the cost of the annual damage caused by natural disasters at between 30 billion rubles ($450,000) and 60 billion rubles, or 0.07-0.15 percent of Russia's gross domestic product. The total number of disasters in 2013 was 963, less than in 2012, which — according to Donskoi — was an anomalous year, with 987 disasters hitting Russia.

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