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Roundup of October’s major environment disasters around the world

Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield's catastrophe model development team, 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 October 2016.

The report highlights Hurricane Matthew, which swept through parts of the Caribbean and United States, killing 49 people in the US – including 28 in North Carolina – and 552 people in the Caribbean, although the unofficial total in Haiti alone was as high as 1,600. Total US economic losses from Matthew were forecast to range as high as USD10 billion, while public and private insurance losses were estimated to possibly reach USD5 billion. Much of the inland flood loss in North Carolina went uninsured due to low take-up of the US Government's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Meanwhile, Matthew caused economic damage of more than USD5 billion outside of the US, with Cuba (USD2.6 billion), Haiti (USD1.9 billion), and the Bahamas (USD600 million) accounting for most of the loss total.

Remnant moisture from Matthew brought flooding rain and high winds to parts of Atlantic Canada, where economic damages were expected to reach tens of millions (USD).

Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting director and meteorologist, said: "The extensive footprint of Hurricane Matthew left considerable damage and humanitarian impacts from the Caribbean to Canada. The system also became the costliest hurricane in the United States since Sandy in 2012. Despite causing billions of dollars in damage, it could have been even more catastrophic. Had several slight wobbles not occurred, we are likely having an entirely different conversation when it comes to the financial impact in the state of Florida."

Other natural hazards to have occurred elsewhere during October include:

  • A series of strong earthquakes struck central Italy bringing damage and injuries to a region still in the midst of recovering from a major tremor in August. One fatality and dozens of injuries were reported, with catastrophic damage occurring in several villages. The economic toll was expected to be significant.
  • Super Typhoon Chaba caused widespread disruption and damage in South Korea claiming at least nine lives. The General Insurance Association of Korea announced that more than 33,100 claims had been filed totaling KRW143 billion (USD126 million). Overall economic losses were much higher.
  • Tropical Storm Aere prompted widespread and significant flooding in central Vietnam. At least 31 people died and 122,000 homes were inundated. Significant damage to agricultural interests was reported.
  • Typhoon Sarika and Super Typhoon Haima both made landfalls in the Philippines and China, killing at least 16 people and damaging or destroying at least 115,000 homes. Aggregated economic losses exceeded USD1.8 billion mainly due to agricultural damage.
  • Severe flooding in portions of Asia, Central America, and Egypt claimed at least 57 lives and damaged almost 210,000 homes.

To view the full Impact Forecasting October 2016 Global Catastrophe Recap report, click here.



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