The costliest weather event so far 2014 involved torrential monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding in India and Pakistan in September, Aon Benfield concluded in a new report.
The firm’s September 2014 Global Catastrophe Recap report ranks this at the top of the year’s catastrophe events because of its collective severity. Monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding that followed destroyed 375,000 homes and other structures in parts of both countries, killing at least 648 people.
Local governments in India estimate $16 billion in damage in that country’s Jammu & Kashmir region, according to Aon Benfield, and insurance industry payouts would easily hit $150 million. Pakastan’s government said the floods caused $2 billion in economic losses in the country’s Punjab Province alone.
Other costly weather events during the month included:
- Seasonal rains/flooding in sections of Thailand, China and northeastern India, causing $2.1 million in economic losses, 200 deaths and damage to 300,000 structures.
- Flooding in the U.S., in Arizona, Nevada and California due to the remnants of Hurricane Norbet and Tropical Storm Dolly. Rainfall totals in some locations came in equal to a 1-in—1,000-year event. Insurer-reported losses came close to $100 million, and economic losses nearly hit $225 million.
- Mexico’s Baja Peninsula dealt with major after effects due to Hurricane Odile, which killed five people, injured 135 more and damaged or destroyed thousands of homes. Preliminary insured losses reached at least $522 million, with economic losses expected to hit “the low-digit billions.”
- Typhoon Kalmaegi hit the Philippines, China and Vietnam, killing 31 people and causing almost $3 billion in combined economic losses.
- Tropical Storm Fung-Wong slammed the Philippines, Taiwan and China with torrential rains, killing at least 21 people and causing $232 million in aggregated economic losses.
- Wildfires hit northern California for a second month, damaging hundreds of structures and causing more than $100 million in fire-fighting and economic damage expenses.
At least 48 people were killed with the eruption of Mount Ontake in Japan’s central Honshu Island.
Source: Aon Benfield