Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting on Sept. 5 announced the release of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which revealed that flood losses in China, Russia, the Philippines and Pakistan during August caused an initial combined estimate of $10 billion in economic losses.
The catastrophe modeling center’s report reviewed the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during August 2013.
• In China, persistent rainfall in August caused flooding, with Heilongjiang Province sustaining much of the damage. According to available data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, more than 260 people died, at least 306,000 homes and structures were damaged, and the aggregate economic loss was $5.3 billion.
Across China’s northeast border, torrential rains led to the worst flooding in at least 120 years in Russia’s Far East. The Ministry of Emergency Situations reported that 6,964 homes were damaged and more than 1.55 million acres of agricultural land were submerged. Total economic losses were estimated by the government at $1 billion.
• In the Philippines, exceptional rains (enhanced by the passage of Typhoon Trami) also fell across the country, causing an estimated $2.2 billion in damages. At the peak of the event, 60 percent of metro Manila was under water.
• In Pakistan, monsoon rains caused significant flooding that affected more than 5,739 villages nationwide. At least 208 people were killed, 63,180 homes were damaged or destroyed, and 1.4 million acres of crops were submerged. The government estimated economic agricultural losses alone at $1.9 billion.
“Economic losses from flood events have equated to more than 40 percent of overall losses sustained this year,” says Steve Jakubowski, president of Impact Forecasting, in a statement. “This highlights the need for insurers to further appreciate the impact of the flood peril through improved analysis and understanding of significant events and utilizing that learning curve to further strengthen the development and usage of catastrophe models.”
Meanwhile, in addition to the rainfall events, Super Typhoon Utor made separate landfalls in the Philippines and China.
The Philippines’ Luzon Island incurred damage to 21,153 homes in addition to economic losses topping $33 million. In China, Utor’s remnants prompted days of torrential rains, leaving 70 people dead and causing more than $2.6 billion in economic losses.
A series of earthquakes rattled New Zealand’s upper South Island and lower North Island, causing varying levels of damage to buildings and infrastructure but no fatalities. The New Zealand Earthquake Commission received 2,945 claims, and overall losses were not expected to be significant.
In the United States, a severe weather event affected the Midwest and the Plains in early August, killing at least two people. The states of Minnesota and Wisconsin were hit the hardest, with baseball-sized hail and straight-line winds gusting beyond 80 mph. Total economic losses were estimated at $1 billion, with insured losses in excess of $625 million.
Also in the U.S., the Rim Fire became the fourth-largest wildfire in California’s history, destroying at least 111 structures in Tuolumne County. Total costs to fight the blaze topped $72 million.
Source: Aon Benfield