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Roundup of June’s major environmental disasters

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 around the world during June 2017.

The report reveals that worldwide economic and insured losses during the month were once again largely driven by several major severe weather outbreaks in the United States.

Large hail, tornado touchdowns, straight-line winds and isolated flash flooding all contributed to an aggregated economic loss that was expected to exceed USD3.0 billion. Of that total, public and private insurance entities were expected to minimally cover at least USD2.0 billion. The most significant event from a financial perspective occurred on June 11th across parts of the Upper Midwest, where a series of powerful and fast-moving thunderstorms left a trail of damage in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Among the hardest-hit areas was the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan region, where substantial wind and hail damage affected homes, businesses, and vehicles. Insurance payouts from this event alone were likely to approach USD1.0 billion; while the overall economic cost was estimated at around USD1.4 billion.

Adam Podlaha, Global Head of Impact Forecasting, said: "Costly impacts resulting from severe convective storms were not solely confined to the United States in the month of June. Parts of Europe – notably Germany – incurred a significant cost resulting from large hail as the industry continues to get a better handle on using catastrophe models to further understand impacts from the peril. Lightning was also the primary cause of several major wildfires in South Africa; expected to result in one of the costliest payouts for a natural disaster in the local industry's history."

Meanwhile, major flooding impacted at least nine provinces in southern China during June, killing at least 31 people and impacting more than 130,000 homes. The catastrophe was caused by torrential downpours associated with the annual Mei-yu rains. China's official Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) listed aggregated economic losses at more than USD2.4 billion, which resulted in the flooding becoming the costliest individual global natural catastrophe in the month of June.

Other natural peril events to have occurred during the month include:

  • Thunderstorm activity in Europe peaked on June 22, when a particularly violent outbreak caused significant losses to German insurers, estimated at EUR400 million (USD455 million).
  • Torrential monsoonal rainfall caused devastating floods and landslides in Bangladesh and neighboring northeast India, causing at least 169 fatalities.
  • Other flood-related events in Asia (including China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and India) resulted in a combined death toll of at least 312 people.
  • Additional significant floods occurred in Central America, Chile and Western Africa.
  • Strong thunderstorms affected Western Cape in South Africa, where the region was previously suffering from severe drought. However, the greatest damage cost occurred after lightning strikes prompted several catastrophic fires. Published reports indicated that the local insurance industry could face payouts approaching ZAR4.0 billion (USD305 million); one of the costliest events in the region's history.
  • The combination of extreme heat and dry thunderstorms led to one of the deadliest wildfires in Portuguese history, killing 64 people and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses. Local government indicated that economic losses may reach EUR497 million (USD565 million).
  • Two tropical storms made separate landfalls in North America: Beatriz in Mexican state of Oaxaca and Cindy in the US Southeast. Damage costs from each event were largely negligible.
  • An offshore magnitude 6.3 earthquake damaged more than 1,100 homes on the Greek island of Lesbos.

To view the full Impact Forecasting June 2017 Global Catastrophe Recap report go to http://aon.io/2urNcXy.



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