Aon Report on Thai Floods Highlights ‘Extreme Human Suffering,’ Economic Loss’

October 31, 2011

Aon Benfield has published a highly detailed report on the ongoing floods in Thailand, from their meteorological beginnings – extremely heavy monsoon rains – to the widespread damage they have inflicted on one of East Asia’s most vibrant economies – $6.5 billion, and counting.

The report notes that “Thailand has declared a third of its provinces to be disaster zones as the country battles rising flood waters. The flooding situation is likely to continue for a few more weeks and has been bearing down on Bangkok over the past few days. The Thai capital sits on the bottom of a flood plain which has an average elevation of less than 2m (a little over 6 feet) above sea level.”

As recent articles have also pointed out, “Thailand plays an important role in global commerce, industry and agriculture. The impact from the floods will be felt in food stores, electronic stores and auto showrooms around the globe.” The cut off in supply chain links, where Thailand plays a major role in the manufacture of components for electronics, auto assembly lines and textiles, has had a particularly devastating impact.

Aon’s report also notes that the country is the “largest producer of rice in the world. The current floods are the worst Thailand has seen in the last 50 years and as such, will cost hundreds of millions in lost revenue for companies dependent on factories and supplies located in Thailand. At the time of writing the report, about half a million Thais are living in temporary shelters. Railways and major highways have also been affected.”

The report concludes that the floods will “likely to be the costliest natural disaster in Southeast Asia,” and “while the overall insured loss has yet to be realized due to the on-going nature of the situation, there is a potential for substantial losses to insurers from different sectors like  property, automotive and agriculture.”

The impact of the flooding on the country is enormous. Aon reported that “more than 9.4 million people were affected by the floods in at least 64 of the country’s 77 provinces. Factories were swamped and more than 10 percent of the nation’s rice farms have been destroyed.

According to the latest reports, the Thai government has said that the “fatalities from the catastrophic flooding is 373.” Reports from the government also indicate that “upwards of 2.8 million homes sustained various levels of flood inundation.” They also suggest “that more than 14,800 industrial and manufacturing plants were damaged by floods in 20 separate provinces.”

Source: Aon Benfield

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