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Tech Helps Insurers Assess Global DisastersDespite taking up to 100,000 lives a year and causing economic losses sometimes in excess of $100 billion annually, natural disasters have a relatively small impact on society when compared with war, civil strife and famine.

Unfortunately, this is a situation that is unlikely to persist without end. Our civilization has developed against a background of geological and climatic calm that has permitted us to make sure and steady progress toward todays global technology-based society. The 10,000 years or so during which nature has left us in peace should not, however, be viewed as the norm.

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