Global catastrophe losses in October are expected to top $10 billion, according to a report from Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development unit.
A record 22 global tropical cyclones have now developed in the Northern Hemisphere during 2015, said the latest edition of Impact Forecasting’s monthly “Global Catastrophe Recap.”
Recounting some of the major events during the month, the report said that the $2.0 billion minimum economic cost of the South Carolina & eastern U.S. floods will put this event as one of the top 10 costliest non-tropical cyclone flood events in the country since 1980. “Public and private insurers have already reported more than $400 million in payouts.”
Further, the report noted that Hurricane Patricia, which hit Mexico on Oct. 23, broke a new record by becoming the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere with maximum sustained wind speeds of 200 mph (325 kph).
Preliminary economic damage in Mexico was estimated at $300 million, but, given low insurance penetration in the hardest-hit areas, insured losses were expected to be negligible, Impact Forecasting noted.
This cyclone was one of a record 22 global tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere that have reached Category 4 or 5 intensity in 2015, the report said, noting that this broke the previous record of 18 set in 2004.
Most of the 2015 storms have been in the Pacific Ocean, which, the report said, is expected “given the very warm sea surface temperatures that have been enhanced by El Niño’s intensity.”
“October ended as one of the most active, and costly, months of 2015 for natural disasters. Many of the major weather events – such as record-breaking tropical cyclone activity in the Pacific Ocean, the historic South Carolina floods, and deepening global droughts – were clearly impacted by the current El Niño’s growing fingerprint on global weather patterns,” said Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting associate director and meteorologist.
“Given the increasing intensity of El Niño, it is expected that these impacts will become even more defined around the world as we enter the boreal late autumn and winter months,” he added.
Other October events included:
- A major magnitude-7.5 earthquake struck northern Afghanistan on Oct. 26, shaking a large swath of the country as well as portions of Tajikistan, Pakistan and India with at least 403 people confirmed dead
- Typhoon Mujigae became the costliest tropical cyclone of 2015, after making separate landfalls in China and the Philippines
- Super Typhoon Koppu made landfall in the Philippines as a strong Category 4 typhoon, killing at least 58 people and injuring 83 others
- Major Hurricane Joaquin lashed the Bahamas before tracking past Bermuda
- Severe thunderstorms in the French Riviera impacted areas from Monaco to Frejus, prompting massive flash flooding
- Drought conditions worsened in Papua New Guinea as the effects of El Niño intensified globally.
The full Impact Forecasting October 2015 Global Catastrophe Recap report, is available via the Aon Benfield website.
Source: Impact Forecasting
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