Aon Benfield Cat Recap Highlights China Floods; Quakes, Wildfires

July 7, 2011

Aon Benfield, the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon Corp., has released the latest edition of its Monthly Cat Recap report, which reviews the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during June.

Published by Impact Forecasting, the firm’s catastrophe model development center of excellence, the report notes that “heavy flooding in China during the month directly impacted at least 37 million people, displacing around 1.6 million residents and submerging nearly one million hectares [247 million acres] of farmland, according to the country’s Ministry of Civil Affairs.

“The deluge impacted 13 central and southern provinces including the Yangtze River Basin, killing at least 199 people with dozens more remaining missing. More than 500,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and hundreds of roads, bridges and railways were submerged, resulting in a direct economic loss listed at CNY35 billion ($5.41 billion).”

Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, pointed out: “China has once again been struck by severe weather events that have caused widespread damage and economic loss. The country has a highly complex risk landscape, and this year has suffered a series catastrophe events including droughts, severe winter weather, several earthquakes, sandstorms and flooding, which individually and in aggregate have been extremely costly from both an economic and human perspective. We will continue to employ the very latest risk science to help China understand the risks it faces.”

Aon Benfield’s report also noted that parts of India, Tajikistan, Singapore and the Philippines, were also impacted by flooding that “caused varying amounts of damage, and a number of deaths.”

The U.S. also experienced some extreme weather events, notably in Minot, North Dakota, where “a record overflow from the Souris River flooded more than 4,100 homes in the city, causing at least $200 million in damages and reconstruction costs throughout the river basin, while in Canada, dozens of homes were inundated by the floodwaters.”

Tropical Storm Arlene became the first Atlantic cyclone of 2011, “making landfall near Cabo Rojo, Mexico and killing at least 20 people following widespread flooding and landslides in the states of Veracruz, Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosi.

“On Mexico’s Pacific coast, Hurricane Beatriz skirted the coastline and caused three fatalities.

“In Asia, three separate tropical storms – Sarika, Haima and Meari – crossed the Western Pacific Ocean Basin and caused 67 deaths and $342 million in damages across parts of China, the Philippines, Korea and Vietnam.”

In addition to the floods and storms, Christchurch, New Zealand was hit by “two strong aftershocks (of magnitudes 5.2 and 6.0) …, leaving at least one person dead and 46 more injured. Damage was reported throughout Christchurch and its eastern suburbs due to ground shaking and resultant liquefaction and rockslides.

“To date, the New Zealand government has not released any official preliminary loss projections for the aftershock, but the New Zealand Earthquake Commission has received at least 22,000 insurance claims.”

Wildfires in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Florida erupted in the U.S. in June, “killing two people and destroying significant amounts of timber in Texas which could cost the state $500 million in lost productivity.

Source: Aon Benfield

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