Tropical storms cost the global economy $4.2 billion in September, according to the latest Global Catastrophe Recap report from Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting.

Hurricane Hermine became the first hurricane to make Florida landfall since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The hurricane came ashore as a Category 1 storm near St. Marks, Fla., bringing torrential rain and storm surge flooding to coastal sections of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. The storm killed three people as flooding and high winds caused widespread damage and hundreds of thousands of power outages. Total economic losses were estimated at above $800 million, while public and private insurers anticipated insured losses of around $400 million.

September’s most costly storm was Super Typhoon Meranti, which made landfall in China’s Fujian Province after first grazing southern Taiwan and the northern Philippines. At least 44 people were killed and dozens more injured, as more than 70,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Overall economic losses from the storm were $2.4 billion, with the vast majority reported in China ($2.3 billion).

Typhoon Megi made landfall in Taiwan and China, leaving at least 43 people dead or missing and 700 injured. In Taiwan, the storm came ashore at Category 3 intensity, with extreme wind gusts and rainfall causing nearly four million power outages. Total damage to agriculture and schools was listed at $110 million. In China, Megi came ashore at Category 1 strength, bringing considerable rainfall and high winds that damaged or destroyed more than 12,000 homes and 200,000 acres of cropland. Total economic losses exceeded $830 million.

Typhoon Malakas made landfall in southern Japan as a Category 3, bringing torrential rain that caused widespread flooding. At least one person was killed and dozens more injured as the storm dropped up to 23 inches of rain in some locations. The storm caused more than $100 million in economic losses.

Hurricane Newton made two separate landfalls at Category 1 strength in northwestern Mexico, causing damage around the resort city of Cabo San Lucas. At least 11 people were left dead or missing. Total economic losses to property, agriculture and infrastructure were estimated in excess of $10 million.

Other natural catastrophes in September included:

  • A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Tanzania, killing at least 23 people and injuring 600 others. The government cited $458 million was needed for recovery efforts.
  • Torrential rains in India’s Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states led to catastrophic flooding, killing at least 28 people. Local officials reported economic damage totaling $479 million.
  • The Soberanes Fire continued to burn in California’s Los Padres National Forest throughout September, after first igniting on July 22. The fire cost $235 million and burned a total of 132,092 acres, making it the most expensive fire to fight in U.S. history.

Source: Aon Benfield