Roundup of September’s natural disasters

Published: Monday, 12 October 2020 07:10

Aon has released 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 September 2020.

The report highlights significant wildfires across parts of the United States which burned throughout the month, killing at least 43 people. In 2020 to date, the United States has reported 22 fires with at least 100,000 acres (40,468 hectares) burned; a record since the statistic was first tracked in 1997. In California alone, five of the state's six largest fire events since 1932 were recorded in August and September 2020, along with five of the state's top 20 most destructive fires on record. Total direct economic costs from the fires across California, Oregon and Washington are likely to reach well into the billions of dollars, resulting in a multi-billion-dollar payout for insurers.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Sally came ashore near Gulf Shores, Alabama, on September 16th as a Category 2 storm. At least eight fatalities and several injuries were reported. Total economic losses were estimated beyond $5 billion, while public and private insurance losses exceeded $2.5 billion.

Tropical Storm Beta made landfall along the southern end of the Matagorda Peninsula near Port O'Connor, Texas, on September 21st, bringing heavy rainfall and flash flooding to coastal Texas and Louisiana. One of the top five wettest three-day rainfall totals on record in Houston was recorded, along with major flooding elsewhere in Harris County, Texas. Total economic losses were estimated to exceed $100 million.

Further natural hazard events to have occurred in September include:

Read the report (PDF).