Weeks of torrential rainfall in southern India and Sri Lanka caused an estimated $3.0 billion in total economic damages during November 2015, with $300 million in reported insurance claims, according to the latest Global Catastrophe Recap report from Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting.
The monsoon killed an estimated 386 people in the heavily impacted states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the report said, and the Chennai metropolitan region in India was particularly damaged by the event. (See related story, “AIG, Lombard General Brace for India Claims Surge After Record Floods.”)
“New economic developments in Asia are taking place in flood plains and marsh lands with scant attention to drainage, thus increasing runoff and flooding. The 100-year rainfall event in Chennai exposed the inherent weakness of the one-dimensional nature of this economic pursuit and highlights the need for serious introspection, implementation of mitigation measures and the redesign of urban landscapes,” said Adityam Krovvidi, head of Impact Forecasting Asia Pacific. “The large gap between the economic and insured loss from the Chennai flood event further emphasizes the need for greater insurance penetration in large industrialized cities in Asia.”
Among other natural hazard events in November 2015:
- In the U.S., a series of early winter storms brought frigid temperatures, freezing rain and the season’s first major snowfall, killing at least 18 people. The storms disrupted travel and caused widespread damage from the Rockies to the Midwest. Total combined economic losses from the events were expected to exceed $200 million.
- Windstorms Heini and Nils (known locally as “Barney” and “Clodagh”) impacted parts of the U.K. and Western Europe, bringing high winds, wintry showers and localized flooding. Total insured losses were expected to exceed $100 million.
- In South Africa, one of the worst droughts in decades intensified as water shortages affected 2.7 million households, with total economic losses estimated to exceed $2.0 billion.
- Winter storms in northern China led to minimal economic losses of $268 million.
- Severe thunderstorms in South Africa and Australia caused tens of millions of dollars in damage. Local insurers received at least 20,000 claims with payouts expected to top $40 million.
- Multiple wildfires in Australia led to 1,344 insurance claims worth $88 million, according to the Insurance Council of Australia.
- Cyclone Chapala became the first storm on record to ever make landfall in Yemen at hurricane strength, followed mere days later by Cyclone Megh. The storms caused catastrophic damage in some areas and killed at least 26 people.
Source: Aon Benfield