Tallying Losses from October’s Global Catastrophes

October was a deadly and costly month due to natural catastrophes, with the the U.S. and Europe being hit particularly hard, according to Aon’s Impact Forecasting.

Total U.S. economic losses from October’s Hurricane Michael – including physical damage and net loss business interruption – was forecast to exceed $15 billion, with public and private insurers likely to incur payouts of at least $8 billion.

According to Aon’s Impact Forecasting team’s monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, while the Florida Panhandle was most severely impacted by the hurricane, additional wind and flood-related damage was recorded throughout parts of Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland.

Hurricane Michael killed 45 people in the United States, as it became the strongest tropical cyclone on record to strike the Florida Panhandle and the fourth strongest hurricane to make landfall on the U.S. mainland.

In early October, Hurricane Rosa led to flooding in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and California – which had been coping with severe drought conditions.Total economic damage is likely to reach into the millions of dollars.

Severe thunderstorms in the Northeast on October 2 caused widespread damage, most in Pennsylvania, where no fewer than 14 tornadoes touched down. Additional tornadoes were confirmed in New York and Connecticut. Further non-tornadic damage due to straight-line winds or hail was noted in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Total economic and insured losses were expected to reach into the tens of millions of dollars

The Aon report evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during October 2018.

A complex severe weather outbreak impacted much of Italy and other countries across Southern and Central Europe during the last week of October and early November, killing 29 people in Italy alone as flooding, landslides, severe winds, and strong waves left widespread damage in the hardest-hit Italian regions of Liguria, Veneto, Lazio, and Trentino-Alto Adige. Total economic losses were expected to exceed $3.4 billion, including a minimum of $1.1 billion in Veneto alone. Additional economic impacts of at least $270 million were registered in Austria.

Other costly and deadly flood events swept through Europe during the month – including the extratropical remnants of Hurricane Leslie coming ashore in Portugal – with a combined economic loss likely to minimally reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

“While the majority of the headlines in October centered around the significant impacts from Hurricane Michael, other regions of the globe additionally endured notable catastrophes,” said Michal Lorinc, an analyst within Impact Forecasting’s Catastrophe Insight team. He said Europe, which has been marked by numerous windstorms, severe drought conditions, and prolonged flood events, is currently on track to have its costliest year for weather disasters since 2013.

October also featured several significant typhoon events in Asia-Pacific, with the most notable being Super Typhoon Yutu, Yutu one of the strongest tropical cyclones to ever impact a U.S. territory. Yutu would later make landfall in the Philippines.

Japan was struck by multiple landfalling storms – Typhoon Trami and Typhoon Kong-Rey – as aggregated economic losses were expected to exceed $1 billion.

India faced landfall by Cyclone Titli as storm surge, high winds and inland flooding prompted economic damage topping $920 million. At least 85 people were killed

A magnitude-5.9 earthquake off the northern coast of Haiti killed at least 18 people, injured more than 540 others, and damaged or destroyed nearly 20,000 homes.

Source: Aon Impact Forecasting