Super Typhoon Haiyan Tops Impact Forecasting’s November Cat Review

December 6, 2013

The latest edition of Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting Global Catastrophe Recap report for November highlights the havoc caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan when it made landfall in the central Philippines as “one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded.” The storm killed at least 5,719 people and injured 26,233 others, with 1,779 people declared missing. Total economic losses – including damage and reconstruction costs – were estimated at PHP250 billion (US$5.8 billion), while insured losses were expected to reach the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting senior scientist and meteorologist, said: “The level of devastation and casualties in the Philippines sustained from Super Typhoon Haiyan makes this one of the most significant natural disaster events in 2013. The substantial impacts from Haiyan highlight the vital roles that catastrophe modeling and the insurance industry can have in both analyzing future risks and helping communities to recover more quickly following a major event.

“Remarkably, Haiyan became the third Category 5 storm to make landfall in the Philippines since 2010. This is in stark contrast to the United States, which has not endured a Category 3+ hurricane landfall since October 2005.”

Also in November, Cyclone Helen made landfall in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, killing at least 10 people and causing damage to 600 villages in the Andhra Pradesh districts of Krishna, Guntur, East Godavari, West Godavari, and Visakhapatnam. State officials estimated that more than one million acres (405,000 hectares) of crops were destroyed, with total economic losses reaching INR50 billion (US$800 million).

In central and southern Vietnam, Tropical Depression Podul killed at least 42 people and damaged or destroyed 427,258 homes and around 6,000 hectares (15,000 acres) of cropland, resulting in economic losses estimated at VND1.5 trillion (US$72 million).

In Somalia, Tropical Storm Three made a rare landfall, bringing torrential rains and periods of gusty winds to much of the country. Government officials reported that 440 people had been declared dead or missing as thousands of homes, roads and bridges were destroyed.

The report also includes a discussion of the rare November severe weather outbreak, which struck the United States during the month, killing at least 10 people and injuring 300 others. “According to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) at least 106 tornado touchdowns were registered, with 74 confirmed – representing the third-most prolific November U.S. tornado outbreak since 1950. Total economic losses were estimated to exceed $1.0 billion, with insurance losses expected to reach well into the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Severe weather also affected parts of Australia’s Queensland (QLD) and New South Wales (NSW) during the month as separate stretches of powerful thunderstorms produced hail and spawned tornadoes. Total economic and insured losses were estimated in the millions of dollars.

In the Italian island of Sardinia, extra tropical storm named Ruven brought more than 385 millimeters (15 inches) of rain in less than 24 hours, killing at least 18 people. Government officials allocated €103 million ($140 million) for damage and recovery costs.

Flooding was also recorded in Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Somalia, and Vietnam during November.

The complete report is available.

Source: Aon Benfield/Impact Forecasting

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