GENEVA, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The last 20 years have seen a dramatic rise of 251 percent in direct economic losses from climate-related disasters, according to a UN report released on Wednesday.

From 1998 to 2017, disaster-hit countries reported direct economic losses of 2,908 billion U.S. dollars, of which climate-related disasters accounted for 2,245 billion dollars or 77 percent of the total, according to the report, Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters 1998-2017, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

That compares with total reported losses for the period 1978-1997 of 1,313 billion dollars, of which climate-related disasters accounted for 895 billion dollars or 68 percent, according to the report.

In terms of occurrences, climate-related disasters also dominate the picture, accounting for 91 percent of all 7,255 major recorded events between 1998 and 2017. Floods, 43.4 percent, and storms, 28.2 percent, are the two most frequently occurring disasters.

The greatest economic losses have been experienced by the United States, 944.8 billion dollars; China, 492.2 billion dollars; Japan, 376.3 billion dollars; India, 79.5 billion dollars; and Puerto Rico, 71.7 billion dollars.

Storms, floods and earthquakes place three European countries in the top ten for economic losses: France, 48.3 billion dollars; Germany, 57.9 billion dollars; and Italy, 56.6 billion dollars.

Between 1998 and 2017, 1.3 million people lost their lives and 4.4 billion people were injured, rendered homeless, displaced or in need of emergency assistance. Overall, 563 earthquakes, including related tsunamis, accounted for 56 percent of total deaths or 747,234 lives lost.