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November’s major natural disasters roundup

Impact Forecasting has published the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which reviews the natural disasters that occurred worldwide during November 2014.

The United States endured four separate winter weather events during the month, including the first polar vortex of the season and a near record-breaking snow event in the northeast. The polar vortex phenomenon engulfed much of the country, with all 50 states reporting that at least one of their weather stations had recorded temperatures at or below 32ºF (0ºC). A later storm system affected 20 million people and disrupted travel around the Thanksgiving holiday. A total of 29 people were killed as a result of the events, and with damage assessments still pending, aggregate economic losses were expected to reach into the hundreds of millions (USD).

Meanwhile, one of the most significant hailstorms in decades to affect Australia’s greater Brisbane metropolitan region struck at the end of November, injuring at least 12 people. Tennis ball-sized hail, high winds, and flooding rains caused considerable damage to residential and commercial properties and vehicles, with the Insurance Council of Australia indicating that nearly 69,000 claims had been filed amid preliminary payouts totaling AUD482 million (USD404 million). Given the widespread scope of damage, these figures were expected to steadily grow in the coming weeks.

Severe weather also struck northern Italy during the month, killing at least three people and causing estimated economic losses of EUR200 million (USD250 million).

Elsewhere, winter weather affected China’s Xinjiang and Heilongjiang provinces causing widespread damages and economic losses of USD245 million.

Flooding was prevalent worldwide in November, most notably in the EMEA region where one disaster event killed 13 people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars (USD) worth of damage in parts of France, Switzerland, Italy, and Albania.

In Morocco, 47 people died and thousands of properties were damaged as excessive rains fell. Total economic damages were estimated at up to MAD 4.0 billion (USD450 million).

Extensive damage to properties from flooding was reported in parts of the Caribbean, and tens of thousands of people were displaced in Thailand. Seasonal rains also left thousands of residents homeless in parts of Argentina, Uganda, Somalia, and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

At least five people were killed by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that struck China’s Sichuan province, with at least 25,000 properties damaged as a result of the main tremor and subsequent aftershocks. A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Japan, injuring 46 people and damaging at least 855 properties.

Tropical Storm Sinlaku formed over the Philippines at the end of the month, killing four people and damaging almost 3,000 homes. The storm also affected Vietnam where further damage to property and agricultural land were sustained from the system’s torrential rains.

Government officials in Jamaica announced that more than 18,309 small farms had been affected this year by drought conditions, and that the agricultural sector had lost more than USD10 million as a result.

To view the full Impact Forecasting November 2014 Global Catastrophe Recap report click here.

•Date: 12th December 2014 • World •Type: Article • Topic: DR general


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