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February major natural disasters roundup

Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development center of excellence at Aon Benfield, has released the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which reviews the natural disasters that occurred worldwide during February 2014

The report says that regions of Japan experienced record snowfall during the month, which killed 37 people and injured more than 2,750 others, mostly as a result of traffic-related accidents. Insurers forecast total claims payouts of around JPY60 billion (USD585 million), while economic losses were estimated to approach JPY120 billion (USD1.2 billion).

In the United States a strong winter storm crossed the country mid-month, killing at least 25 people and damaging more than 50,000 structures. Total economic losses were estimated at USD500 million, while insurers cited losses in excess of USD250 million.
Earlier in February, a separate winter storm killed at least nine people across the eastern US, generating total economic losses of around USD250 million and insurance losses above USD150 million.

Severe winter weather in China killed at least 10 people and damaged or destroyed nearly 35,000 structures, according to data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA). Total economic losses were estimated at CNY5.7 billion (USD930 million).

In western and central Europe, Windstorms Nadja, Petra, Tini, and Ulla all brought high winds and heavy rains during February. The most significant event was Windstorm Tini, which caused extensive damage across Ireland and the United Kingdom. The storm prompted winds in excess of 160 kph (100 mph) as well as flooding across England, Wales and Ireland. Total insured losses were estimated at EUR500 million (USD685 million), with overall economic damages forecast at EUR730 million (USD1.0 billion).

Windstorms also impacted areas of France, Spain, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, and Scandinavia during the month.

Mount Kelud erupted on Indonesia's Java Island, killing at least seven people and resulting in the evacuation of 200,000 local residents. Economic damages were estimated at IDR1.2 trillion (USD103 million).

A spring-like storm system caused a severe weather outbreak across parts of the eastern US, killing at least one person and injuring several others. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) cited nearly 500 reports of tornado touchdowns, damaging winds, and hail, with total economic losses estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars (USD).

Flooding continued to inundate much of Bolivia during February, killing 46 people over a two-month period. Total economic damages across multiple regions were listed in excess of BOB690 million (USD100 million).

Additional flood events were recorded in areas of Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Philippines, and Fiji.

View the full report (PDF).

•Date: 7th March 2014 • World •Type: Article • Topic: DR general

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