Warning that such disasters could also make 2011 as deadly as 2010, he said, "we have already seen grievous disasters in Australia and Brazil."
Recounting the disasters, he said, "Barely a day went by without lives devastated, homes demolished, people displaced, and carefully cultivated hopes destroyed," and "It was one of the deadliest years in more than a generation."
Fearing for the safety of children in such situations he said, "Children are among the most vulnerable" and explained, "Thousands died last year as earthquake, flood or hurricane reduced their schools to rubble. These deaths could have been prevented.
On ways to minimise the damages to live and property he said, "Lives can be saved by advance planning -- and by building schools, homes, hospitals, communities and cities to withstand hazards. Such measures to reduce risk will grow ever more important as our climate changes and extreme events become more frequent and intense."