Roundup of November’s major environmental disasters

Published: Thursday, 08 December 2016 08:46

Impact Forecasting has published the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during November 2016.

The report highlights the powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake and several large aftershocks which struck New Zealand's South Island during the month, killing two people and injuring dozens of others. A preliminary statement from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand estimated that damage would range between NZD 3.0 to 8.0 billion (USD 2.1 to 5.7 billion), while insured losses would likely range from NZD 1.0 to 5.0 billion (USD 705 million to 3.5 billion).

Meanwhile, significant wildfires – many set by arsonists – swept across parts of Israel, causing extensive damage to homes, injuring at least 137 people, and causing total economic losses of ILS 2.0 billion (USD 520 million).

Large hail and damaging winds impacted the US states of Texas and New Mexico during the month, resulting in more than USD 450 million in economic damage and insurance losses approaching USD 300 million.

In the second half of November, an outbreak of wildfires caused catastrophic damage to areas of eastern Tennessee, killing 14 people and injuring 134 others. The worst fire, Chimney Tops 2, damaged or destroyed more than 1,750 structures in Sevier County's Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and was cited as the worst in Tennessee in more than 100 years, with an economic cost expected to significantly surpass USD 100 million.

Other natural hazard events to have occurred in November include:

View the full report (PDF).