AIR Analyzes Taiwan, China Damages, Losses from Typhoon Dujuan

September 30, 2015

Catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide reports that Typhoon Dujuan made landfall on northeast coast of Taiwan with high winds and heavy rain near Nan’ao Township in Yilan County, late afternoon on Monday, September 28, at approximately 09:00 UTC.

AIR described Dujuan as “an intense storm, with sustained winds of 185 km/h (115 mph) and gusts as strong as 246 km/h (153 mph).” The storm, also known as Typhoon Jenny in the Philippines, caused power outages for half a million households, disrupted travel, and impacted some water treatment facilities.

AIR said, however that it “does not expect insured losses to be significant in Taiwan or China from Typhoon Dujuan. The storm made landfall in a sparsely populated region of Taiwan and lost strength as it passed over a mountainous region. Although Dujuan made landfall in a densely populated region of China, take-up rates are low in the area impacted and the storm had weakened substantially before it reached the coast.

“After passing over Taiwan and then crossing the Taiwan Strait, Typhoon Dujuan made landfall in Putian in the mountainous Fujian province in southeastern China, on Wednesday, September 30, at approximately 00:00 UTC. The China Meteorological Agency estimated wind speeds of minimum typhoon strength (119 km/h, 74 mph) at landfall.”

AIR Worldwide senior scientist Dr. Kevin Hill commented: “Typhoon Dujuan made its first landfall in Taiwan, near Nan’ao Township in Yilan County, around 09:00 UTC September 28. The JMA estimated minimum central pressure of 930 mb and maximum 10-minute sustained winds of 185 km/h (115 mph). Wind gusts of over 157 km/h (100 mph) were reported in Taiwan, with gusts as strong as 246 km/h (153 mph) recorded in Su’ao Township near where Dujuan made landfall.

“Near the capital city of Taipei, wind gusts of 148 km/h (92 mph) were reported at Taoyuan International Airport, and 130 km/h (81 mph) was reported in the central business district. Heavy rainfall amounts were recorded in Taiwan, especially in mountainous locations, with 914 mm of rainfall reported on Taiping Mountain in Yilan County.”

He also explained that “Dujuan quickly weakened after landfall due to Taiwan’s very rugged terrain. After emerging from Taiwan’s west coast, Dujuan made a second landfall in China in Putian, Fujian province, as a weak typhoon, with wind speeds estimated by the China Meteorological Administration at just over 119 km/h (74 mph). Dujuan will continue to weaken as it passes through China, where the potential for heavy rainfall and isolated flooding still exists.”

Typhoon Dujuan, however, “brought extremely heavy rain to some portions of Taiwan, with two to three feet (600 to 900 mm) of rain reported in some areas. Coastal highways throughout the counties of Yilan and Hualien were closed, as were highways through some mountainous areas. In addition, the storm impacted water treatment plants serving Taipei, resulting in loss of water to upwards of 200,000 households. In preparation for Typhoon Dujuan, approximately 3,000 people had been evacuated from Taiwan’s Green Island and Orchid Island—popular tourist attractions—on Sunday, September 27.”

Dr. Hill noted: “Tropical Storm Dujuan brought heavy rain to China—75 to 150 mm (3-6 inches) has been reported from Xiamen north to Fuding—and the drenching is expected to continue well into Wednesday. In addition, intense gales and high waves battered the coast of Zhejiang province, to the north of landfall.”

According to AIR, the northeastern portion of Taiwan, where the capital Taipei is located, “is likely to be most affected from the high winds and heavy rain of Typhoon Dujuan because of the concentration of exposure there.

“Most buildings in the country are fairly new, however, and recent residences tend to be high-rise complexes built in clusters, predominantly reinforced concrete and many with ceramic façades (although some are steel). Because Taiwan’s residential buildings usually have commercial establishments on the first floor, the vulnerability of residential and commercial lines of business very similar.”

AIR also noted that in “densely populated coastal southeastern China, many homes and businesses are at risk from typhoons and damage from flooding from storm surge and/or precipitation is a major concern. Flooding is a major concern for both residences and business from Typhoon Dujuan because of the heavy, multi-day rainfall. Insurance take-up for typhoon coverage is low in China, particularly for residential risks. When there is coverage, wind and flood generally are covered together in the same policy.”

Source: AIR Worldwide

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