The High cost of Natural Catastrophes

Natural catastrophes cost about $39.5 billion in 2016. This figure is higher than the previous highest record of $60 billion in 2012.

The above information excludes man-made disasters. Between 2011 up until 2015 the losses were $120 billion to $23 billion respectively.

The regions show low insurance penetration as the economic losses in the regions are much higher.

Winter storm Jonas was called the storm of the century. This is only one of the natural catastrophes that cost approximately $1 billion in damages. Airports near Baltimore had snow reaching a height of 74 cms. Glengary, West Virginia had 107 cms of snow. As a result 49 people died due to car accidents and hypothermia.

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan killed 116 people. The fatalities were caused by the collapse of a high-rise building. NT$25 billion was allocated for reconstruction.

In August 2016 565,070 acres of land had been burned in California. The Blue Cut fire cost Southern California’s shipping industry $1 million dollars per day.

Louisiana had a flood when six rivers broke a record on the water level. Another one of the natural catastrophes that took the lives of thirteen people. The estimated cost of this flood is in the region of $8 billion.

Another catastrophe occurred in August 2016 when Central Italy was shaken by a 6.22 magnitude quake.  As a result 240 people were killed. The cost of this disaster is estimated at 34 million Euros.

In November 2016 New Zealand had a 7.8 magnitude quake near Christchurch. Hence two hours after the quake, tsunami waves over 3 meters in height pounded the coast. Prime Minister John Key expected the damage to run into a couple of billion New Zealand dollars.

Japan was rocked by a 6.9 quake on November 21, 2016. The Fukushima’s quake was initially measured at 7.3 but later downgraded to 6.9. This area was rocked by a devastating quake in 2011 from which the residents have not yet recovered. The cost of this quake has not yet been fully calculated.