A Geneva-based research institute says the general trend in world-wide deaths from natural disasters is decreasing, despite last year's devastating tsunami.
The Center for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters says 320,000 people died last year in 366 natural disasters, including more than 300,000 killed in what researchers describe as a "dramatically exceptional event" -- the December 26th earthquake and tsunami.
The number of known dead from the tsunami is more than 200,000, but Indonesian officials have said at least 100,000 others are missing and presumed dead.
The U.N. body says most of the remaining casualties were the result of flooding in India, Bangladesh and the Caribbean, which was hard-hit by hurricane Jeanne.
Even with the tsunami, fewer people were affected by natural disasters last year than in 2003.