AIR Estimates Typhoon Roke Insured Losses at $150 to $600 Million

September 23, 2011

Catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide has given preliminary estimates of the insured losses from Typhoon Roke at between JPY 12 billion ($150 million) and JPY 46 billion ($600 million).

As reported earlier, Typhoon Roke, the 15th named storm of the 2011 Northwest Pacific typhoon season, made landfall near Japan’s Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture at 2:00 pm local time (05:00 UTC) on September 21. Maximum sustained winds at landfall were 180 km/h [112.5 mph], making Roke a strong Category 2 storm.

AIR described Roke as “primarily a wind event,” but it also said that “the most readily available damage reports are from typhoon-induced flooding, with roughly 550 homes hit by “inundation above the first floor level and more than 1,160 homes that experienced inundation below the first-floor,” according to the Japan Fire and Disaster Management Agency’s (FDMA) latest report.

AIR also warned that although Roke has exited Japan, “the threat from typhoon-induced flooding and landslides persists; evacuation orders remain in place for 60,000 people living in the east coast prefectures of Aichi and Mie. In Odawara and Kanagawa prefectures, also on the country’s east coast, the threat of flooding and landslides has prompted the evacuation of 240,000 residents. In total, evacuation orders from Roke have impacted 1.21 million people.”
 
Dr. Peter Sousounis, principal scientist at AIR Worldwide, commented: ‘In terms of wind damage, Shizuoka prefecture was most heavily affected, although damage here and in other prefectures was mitigated by Roke’s short duration; the storm moved across central Japan in just 12 hours. Furthermore, Roke weakened quickly after landfall and its strongest winds remained over water as it moved across Japan and began extratropical transition, mitigating wind damage to onshore properties. All these factors contributed to Roke’s relatively low expected losses, despite the fact that the storm made landfall as a strong Category 2 typhoon, just 250 km southwest of Tokyo.’
 
According to AIR, Japan has strict and well-enforced construction codes; so far, minimal structural damage from wind has been reported. In Tokyo, there have been no reports of significant damage to buildings.
 
North of Tokyo, Roke’s passage over the Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactor buildings—which were significantly impacted by the Tohoku earthquake—has not caused further damage; the plant escaped the storm’s strongest winds. Roke did drop 204.5 millimeters [app. 8 inches] of rain on Namie, a town nearby, however.
 
Source: AIR Worldwide

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