Economic Property Damages of Japan Earthquakes to Cost $2.5B-$3.5B: RMS

RMS, the Newark, Calif.-based catastrophe risk management firm, estimated that economic property damage for both the April 15 moment magnitude (Mw) 7.0 earthquake and April 14 Mw6.4 earthquake in Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture to be between $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion.

This includes damage to property and contents for residential, commercial and industrial buildings. This estimate does not include business interruption, shake and landslide-induced damage to infrastructure (roads, highways, bridges, airports, train transport, utilities, dams), or damage to Kumamoto Castle, RMS said in a statement.

The damage estimate is based on the findings of an RMS reconnaissance visit to the affected area, combined with a modeling analyses of how severe the shaking was in different locations, RMS said, adding that the modeling was carried out using RMS RiskLink version 15.0.

“There are hundreds of shallow crustal faults across the Japanese Islands,” said Chesley Williams, RMS senior geophysicist, who noted that the events on April 14 and April 15 were likely associated with the Futagawa – Hinagu Fault System.

“The damage from these events is concentrated in Kumamoto Prefecture in close proximity to this fault system and was primarily due to strong ground shaking and slope failures,” Williams added.

Key observations by the RMS reconnaissance team were:

Source: RMS