Speeding toward Global Catastrophe, disasterThe last 10 days of 2015 turned out to be brutal in terms of weather, contributing to at least $2 billion in insured losses for the month of December, according to Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting.

More than $1.2 billion in insured losses came from catastrophic tornado damage in the Dallas, Texas metro area that struck the day after Christmas, according to Insurance Council of Texas data cited by Impact Forecasting. The rest of the $2 billion tally stems from tornadoes, historic flooding, record snowfall, hail and damaging winds that hit parts of Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Alabama, Impact Forecasting said.

Including the Texas tornadoes, at last 58 touched down in the overall weather events, but the Dallas ones were the most destructive.

While preliminary estimates point to at least $2 billion in insured losses, the December weather events in the U.S. likely created more than $4 billion in economic losses, Impact Forecasting said. Overall, at least 64 people were killed.

There were also major international weather events in December, as Impact Forecasting noted. They include:

  • Windstorms Desmond and Frank, which led to major flooding in the United Kingdom and Ireland throughout December. Hardest hit areas include much of southern Scotland, northern England and Wales. Preliminary insured loss estimates: $2.2 billion. Overall economic loss estimates: $4 billion.
  • Heavy rains that led to historic floods in parts of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. At least 16 people died and tens of thousands home sustained damage or destruction in river flooding or landslides, in a weather cycle made worse by El Nino. Preliminary estimates for overall economic losses: more than $200 million.
  • Typhoon Melor killed 42 people and injured 24 others in the Philippines due to the torrential rain and high winds it caused. Close to 280,000 homes sustained damage or were destroyed. Economic damages to agriculture and infrastructure alone hit $140 million.
  • An Australian wildfire burned in the state of Victoria on Christmas day, destroying at least 116 homes and causing at least $38 million in insured losses. Total economic losses should hit $100 million.
  • Ethopia is dealing with an historic drought that is affecting at least 10 million people, and at least $1.4 billion will be needed to deal with its effects.

Source: Impact Forecasting/Aon Benfield