Asia hit with over US$2 billion in damages from November

Strong typhoon deals huge blow in one region

Asia hit with over US$2 billion in damages from November

Insurance News

By Paolo Taruc

Economic losses from catastrophes across Asia last November shot past US$2 billion, according a recent report by Aon Benfield.

In particular, Vietnam suffered the heaviest losses at about US$1 billion, after Typhoon Damrey tore through the country early last month. The Category 2 storm packed winds of up to 170kph, and claimed the lives of at least 108 people. More than 3,560 homes were destroyed while 300,000 were damaged. Extensive damage was also noted in agriculture and infrastructure.

In the Middle East, a major magnitude-7.3 earthquake struck off north-eastern Iraq on November 12, causing extensive damage and loss of life there and in western Iran. At least 543 people were killed and nearly 10,000 people were injured, the majority of who were in Iran. Forty thousand (40,000) structures were reported to have collapsed, particularly in rural areas where homes are not generally constructed to withstand earthquakes.

Substantial damage also occurred to roads, the electrical grid, utility supply structures, and telecommunications infrastructure. Damage in Iran alone was estimated at up to US$740 million. Local insurers noted that roughly just 3%  of residents in the affected region have insurance.

Elsewhere, the eruption of Mount Agung on Indonesia’s Bali Island led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights affecting more than 120,000 passengers from November 25 through the early part of December. The latest eruptive phase began in mid-August and seismic activity increased through September leading to the evacuation of 140,000 residents at the end of the month.

Related stories:
How much are insurers spending for world’s costliest natural disasters?
Are catastrophe threats taking their toll on property prices?

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