It isn’t; the same question was asked about 2010 and 2009, or any other year. It is mostly reporting. There have been (and there are in every year) disasters that have had significant impact, either in terms of deaths or in dollar losses (some estimates put 2011 at the second worst in the US for insured losses – http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-09/earthquakes-may-make-2011-second-costliest-year-swiss-re-says.html).
Why natural disasters seem to cause greater havoc is partly reporting; the 300,000 people killed in cyclonic floods in Bangladesh in 1970 barely made the news in the US. In addition, of course, the world human population is growing incredibly, so any event (even a “small” one) is more likely to impact more people.
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