Multiple billion-dollar severe weather outbreaks affect the U.S. during March
Seasonal flooding leaves nearly 300 dead around the globe...
Aon plc 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 March 2020.
The report reveals that deadly tornadoes impacted central Tennessee in the United States on March 3, killing at least 25 people and injuring nearly 300 others. The impacts were part of a broad storm system that saw additional tornadoes and large hail in Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and Texas from March 2-5. Total economic losses were estimated in excess of USD1.1bn, with roughly three-quarters of the total covered by insurance.
Also in the U.S., a major severe weather outbreak that included two-dozen tornado touchdowns swept across central and eastern parts of the country on March 27-30, injuring dozens of people. The hardest-hit areas included Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Indiana, as total economic losses were expected to approach or exceed USD1bn, with most wind and hail-related damage expected to be insured.
Steve Bowen, Director and Meteorologist within Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, said: “With the globe continuing to focus on the risks associated with COVID-19, natural peril activity remained elevated during the month of March as thunderstorms, flooding, and earthquakes were all prevalent. As severe weather season accelerates towards its historical peak during the spring season, the United States endured many episodes of large hail, straight-line winds, and tornadoes that resulted in billions of dollars of economic damage and lives lost. Notable tornado touchdowns in populated metro areas such as Nashville and Jonesboro, only further debunked the myth that cities are less vulnerable to tornadic activity.”
Other natural hazard events to have occurred in March include:
- A strong, magnitude-5.4 earthquake which struck north of Zagreb, Croatia on March 22, caused one death, injured 27 others, and became the strongest earthquake to affect Zagreb in 140 years. Unofficial, rough estimates from local officials placed the economic loss at around HRK2.0bn (USD289m).
- Torrential rainfall in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil resulted in widespread urban flooding in early March. More than 5,000 people lost their homes or were displaced. On March 3, extreme rainfall affected Sao Paulo state that resulted in landslides, leaving 70 people dead or missing.
- Seasonal floods in southern Iranian provinces, which started in late February, continued through late March, notably in Kerman, Lorestan, Fars, Khuzestan, and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, resulting in at least 16 fatalities. Governmental officials estimated that the seasonal floods resulted in agricultural losses of at least USD120m alone so far, with Fars and Kerman among the worst hit.
- A relatively active windstorm season in Europe ended with at least four minor storms in the first half of March; aggregate losses were expected to reach into the tens of millions of euros.
- Episodes of heavy rainfall resulted in separate flooding events in Indonesia throughout the month of March. At least 30,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Among the hardest hit were the provinces of West Java and North Sulawesi.
To view the full Impact Forecasting March 2020 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: