Quakes were 'world's second costliest disaster' in 2011

6:44 pm on 17 October 2012

The International Red Cross has named the Canterbury earthquakes as 2011's second most expensive disaster after the Japan quake and tsunami.

According to the latest annual World Disasters Report, last year was the most expensive of the past decade in terms of disaster costs - though it also had the fewest disasters.

The 336 recorded disasters cost $US446.8 billion; the Japanese quake and tsunami alone cost nearly half that.

In Canterbury, the report says, the September 2010 quake cost $3.6 billion and the February 2011 one $18 billion.

The earthquakes in Turkey caused the third most costly damage: $1.85 billion.