Article img

Monsoonal rains inundate Southern India as economic loss breaches $4bn, according to Aon catastrophe report

  • Published by:

  • Topics:
    • Claims & Losses
    • Launches/New Products
    • Property - International
    • Property - North America
    • Risk Modelling

Asia also hit with earthquakes, notably Indonesia where more than 500 people were killed...

Impact Forecasting has launched the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during August 2018.


The report reveals that Kerala state in India was inundated by its worst flooding since 1924, leaving more than 500 people dead or missing. Government officials listed more than 23,000 homes damaged or destroyed, with even greater impacts to the commercial sector, agriculture, and infrastructure.


Total economic losses were tentatively estimated at upwards of INR300 billion (USD4.25 billion), as direct damage and business interruption costs were still being assessed. The General Insurance Companies of India cited that more than 13,000 insurance claims had already been filed with a payout of INR12.4 billion (USD175 million). This total was expected to rise, with the GIC suggesting as high as INR45 billion (USD635 million).


Further notable flooding events were recorded in the United States, particularly in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Wisconsin. Deadly floods were also triggered by seasonal rains in Sub-Saharan Africa; notably in Sudan and Niger. Additional events occurred in Italy, Taiwan, Afghanistan and South Korea.


Meanwhile, a series of powerful earthquakes impacted Indonesia’s Lombok Island, with at least four significant tremors occurring since the end of July: M6.4 (July 29), M6.9 (August 5), M6.3 (August 19) and M6.9 (August 19).


The latest data from the country’s National Disaster Management Agency indicated that at least 560 people had been killed in Lombok since a series of strong tremors began, the majority of whom were killed due to the strongest tremor on August 5.


More than 83,300 homes were damaged or destroyed. The total economic cost resulting from the earthquakes was listed at IDR7.7 trillion (USD528 million).


Other notable earthquakes were recorded in Iran and China.


Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting Director and Meteorologist, said: “After a relatively quiet first half of 2018 for Asia in terms of natural peril impacts, the months of July and August have seen a reversal of that pattern. Two particularly significant events – the historic floods in India’s state of Kerala, and a sequence of four powerful earthquakes in Indonesia’s Lombok region – combined to cause USD5 billion in economic damage. Despite the high economic toll, only a small fraction of those losses will be covered by insurance due to low take-up. This once again highlights an opportunity for government entities and the private insurance market to work together to lower the protection gap that exists in many emerging and developed markets.”


Further natural disaster events to have occurred elsewhere during August include:


  • Multiple outbreaks of severe weather swept across the United States during the month of August. The most extensive event occurred in the Rockies, where hail larger than the size of softballs pelted parts of Colorado. Additional outbreaks led to further hail, straight-line wind, isolated tornado, and flash flood damage in the Plains, Midwest, and the Northeast. Total economic losses were anticipated to approach USD2 billion, with public and private insurers covering roughly three-quarters of the cost.


  • Several countries along the Western Pacific coastline were affected by multiple tropical cyclones. In mid-August, tropical storms Yagi and Bebinca spawned flooding and landslides across several Chinese provinces, with an aggregated loss estimated at CNY1.98 billion (USD243 million). Widespread flooding later ensued in Eastern China due to Tropical Storm Rumbia, whose impact estimated at minimally CNY4.8 billion (USD709 million). Typhoon Soulik generated notable flooding in South Korea, China and Russia. Typhoon Cimaron also struck the Japanese mainland as Category 1 storm.


  • Hurricane Lane approached the Hawaiian Islands without making landfall, but triggered flooding and landslides due to significant mountain-enhanced rainfall. Damage was noted to infrastructure and hundreds of properties. Total economic losses were expected to be in the hundreds of millions.


  • Major wildfires continued to burn in California as insured losses are anticipated to approach the billion-dollar threshold given the number of structures and vehicles affected. Further wildfires burned in Europe; particularly in the Iberian Peninsula during the culmination of recent heatwaves.


To view the full Impact Forecasting August 2018 Global Catastrophe Recap report, please follow the link:  


Along with the report, users can access current and historical natural catastrophe data and event analysis on Impact Forecasting’s Catastrophe Insight website, which is updated bi-monthly as new data become available: