Severe flooding causes US$10bn in economic losses in Asia
Written by staff reporter
Asia recorded a US$10bn economic loss following severe and continuing flooding in July. According to Aon Benfield’s latest cat report, relentless seasonal flooding that began in mid-June resulted in continued fatalities and damage across parts of Asia throughout the month. The greatest impacts were recorded in China, where nearly 200 people were left dead or missing and hundreds of thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs listed combined economic flood damage at more than US$10bn during a six-week stretch, much of which occurred in the Yangtze River Basin.
Heavy flooding also occurred in Japan following the landfall of Tropical Storm Nanmadol and abundant remnant moisture associated with a frontal boundary, with more than 2,600 homes and other structures damaged or destroyed as extensive flooding and landslides affected Fukuoka, Oita, Shimane, Kumamoto, and Hiroshima prefectures. Total economic losses were expected to near US$1bn.
Meanwhile, monsoon rains killed hundreds and caused major damage to structures, agriculture and infrastructure in parts of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Total economic damage was minimally listed in the hundreds of millions.
Additional seasonal rains in Thailand killed at least 23 people and caused economic damage in excess of US$300m.
Claire Darbinyan, Impact Forecasting Associate Director and Meteorologist said: “There was no shortage of global natural disasters during July, though the vast majority were reported in Asia where enhanced seasonal monsoon rainfall over China and throughout South Asia led to significant flooding that caused considerable loss of life, and billions of dollars of damage to property and agriculture. In addition, three tropical cyclones in the region enhanced the monsoonal flow to trigger further flooding in multiple countries.
"Given low levels of insurance penetration in the region, the majority of these losses are expected to be uninsured, highlighting the considerable protection gap and the potential for re/insurers to further offer their specialist risk management skills.”