6 August 2014News

Rammasun becomes costliest weather event of 2014

Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting platform has released its latest monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, reviewing the worldwide natural disaster perils in July 2014.

The report reveals that Super Typhoon Rammasun made separate landfalls in the Philippines and China, causing widespread damage and killing at least 206 people and injuring hundreds more. In the Philippines, total economic damages across the agriculture and infrastructure sectors were listed at $250 million, while in China, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) noted that 272,000 homes had been damaged amid total economic losses listed at $6.25 billion (equivalent).

Additional flood and wind damage from the super typhoon was reported in Vietnam, leading to total economic losses to the equivalent of $6.2 million. As of July 31st, Rammasun’s overall economic damage totalled $6.5 billion, making it the costliest weather event of 2014.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Matmo made separate landfalls in Taiwan and China after first passing by the Philippines, resulting in at least 15 fatalities. In Taiwan, economic losses from the typhoon totalled $20 million, while in China the total economic losses were listed at $550 million.

Torrential monsoon rains brought significant flooding across southern China throughout July, leaving 102 people dead or missing. The MCA noted that a combined 90,000 homes were damaged by the floods, with total economic losses listed at nearly $1.8 billion

Flooding was also prevalent in parts of Europe during the latter half of the month, with three fatalities reported as thunderstorms and flooding rains impacted Bulgaria, Romania, the Netherlands, the UK, Switzerland, Slovakia, and Croatia. Overall economic losses across the continent were expected to exceed €100 million, and preliminary insured losses were listed at nearly €15 million.

Adam Podlaha, head of Impact Forecasting, comments: “Flood is consistently one of the most costly natural perils for insurers, reinsurers and economies worldwide, with three of the past five years experiencing global economic losses from flood that were far higher than the 10-year average of $47bn. An updated version of our US river flood model, which has been well-received by insurers and reinsurers as well as organizations with US infrastructures, will be released in the third quarter this year. Existing and new users of the model will benefit from being able to track the impact of flood risk on their businesses using the latest data and insights.”

Elsewhere, two stretches of severe weather impacted central and eastern sections of the United States during July. The most damaging event stretched from the Rockies to the Northeast and resulted in total economic losses estimated at $350 million and insurance losses in excess of $225 million.

A magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck Mexico’s Chiapas state, near the border of Guatemala, killing nine people, and causing total economic damages in excess of $25 million.

Drought conditions worsened in northern China as economic losses reached $1.4 billion.

Washington’s Carlton Complex Fire became the largest wildfire in state history, killing one person and destroying at least 300 homes.

You can view the full Impact Forecasting July 2014 Global Catastrophe Recap report at Aon Benfield’s website, here.