Published: Dec 20, 2010 5:12 PM EST
Updated: Dec 20, 2010 2:13 PM EST

UNDATED (AP) - Experts say that even without the global economic woes, 2010 was a disaster -- literally.

Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people, making 2010 the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined.

Craig Fugate, who heads the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, which handled a record number of disasters in 2010, says "the term '100-year event' really lost its meaning."

Scientists and disaster experts say the hand of humankind made this a particularly deadly, costly, extreme and weird year.

Poor construction and development practices amplified earthquake casualties. And scientists say man-made global warming helped bring extreme weather.

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