India Floods Top Aon Benfield/Impact Forecasting’s November Cat Recap

December 8, 2015

Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team, has issued the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during November 2015.

The report leads off with an analysis of the “enhanced North East Monsoon – almost certainly impacted by current El Niño conditions,” which caused weeks of torrential rainfall in southern India and Sri Lanka for much of November and early December.

At least 386 people perished in the heavily impacted states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh as a result of the heavy rainfall and resulting floods. The Chennai metropolitan region in India was particularly damaged by the event.

“Total economic losses in India were estimated to reach INR200 billion (US$3.0 billion), as India’s General Insurance Corporation reported insurance claims of around INR20 billion (US$300 million),” the report said.

Adityam Krovvidi, Head of Impact Forecasting Asia Pacific, noted: “New economic developments in Asia are taking place in flood plains and marsh lands with scant attention to drainage, thus increasing run-off and flooding.

“The 100-year rainfall event in Chennai exposed the inherent weakness of the one-dimensional nature of this economic pursuit, and highlights the need for serious introspection, implementation of mitigation measures and the redesign of urban landscapes.

“Risk assessment can play a major role in awareness and insurance in mitigating the financial hardships,” he continued. “The large gap between the economic and insured loss from the Chennai flood event further emphasizes the need for greater insurance penetration in large industrialized cities in Asia. This will become even more important as Asian megacities continue to grow and the risk of major urban flood events increases.”

Elsewhere during November, a series of early season winter storms brought periods of frigid temperatures, freezing rain, ice, heavy rainfall, and the season’s first major snowfall to many areas of the U.S., killing at least 18 people.

The events led to major disruption to travel and caused widespread reports of damage from the Rockies to the Midwest. Total combined economic losses from the events were expected to exceed $200 million.

In Europe “windstorms Heini and Nils (also known locally as “Barney” and “Clodagh”) impacted parts of the United Kingdom and Western Europe in the latter part of the month,” said the report. “Total insured losses, primarily driven by Heini (Barney), were expected to exceed $100 million.”

The report also listed the following natural hazard events that occurred globally in November:
• One of the worst droughts in decades intensified in South Africa as water shortages affected 2.7 million households. Total economic losses were estimated to exceed $2.0 billion.
• Nearly 100 tornadoes touched down in the U.S. in November across the Plains and Midwest.
• Winter storms swept through northern China that led to minimal economic losses of $268 million.
• Noteworthy floods impacted portions of Southern Europe, China, and Saudi Arabia.
• Severe thunderstorms caused tens of millions of U.S. dollars in damages in South Africa and Australia.
• A pair of rare cyclones made historic landfalls in Yemen, killing at least 26 people.
• Multiple wildfires burned just to the north of South Australia’s Adelaide, killing two people. The Insurance Council of Australia preliminarily cited 1,344 insurance claims worth A$119.7 million (US$88 million).
• A magnitude-5.5 earthquake struck southern Kyrgyzstan damaging almost 4,500 buildings in Osh Region.

The full Impact Forecasting November 2015 Global Catastrophe Recap report is available at: http://bit.ly/1QrO18S .

Source: Aon Benfield/Impact Forecasting

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