22 October 2019News

Insured losses from Hagibis could reach $16bn: AIR

Insured losses from Typhoon Hagibis will be between $8 billion and $16 billion, according to catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide.

More than half of the losses resulting from Hagibis, which made landfall in Japan on October 12, will result from inland flooding, AIR said.

According to AIR, Typhoon Hagibis made landfall with 1-minute sustained wind speeds of about 145 km/h (90 mph), the equivalent of a Category one hurricane, on the main Japanese island of Honshu on Saturday, October 12. The storm delivered high winds and record-breaking precipitation to a large portion of Honshu from Mie Prefecture in the west to Iwate in the north.

Storm surge raised sea levels by more than 1 meter above mean sea level along parts of the coast, AIR said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued its Level five, or highest level, special warning for heavy rain, with unprecedented rainfall following, with areas just outside Tokyo severely affected.  Many regions received between 30 percent and 40 percent of their entire yearly rainfall in just two days, AIR said.

“Because of the intense rainfall within a short time period, much of the floodwater has a high mud content and includes a large amount of debris,” said AIR. “This could potentially increase the costs of repair and cleanup and drive up business interruption losses, especially for commercial and industrial properties.”

Shortly before Hagibis made landfall, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck the region, parts of which were in the early stages of recovery from Typhoon Faxai, which struck just one month prior.