Hurricane Matthew, which swept through parts of the Caribbean and United States, had total economic losses of up to US$15 billion, according to Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team.
In the U.S., economic losses (or non-insured losses) from Matthew were forecast to range as high as $10 billion, while public and private insurance losses were estimated to possibly reach $5 billion, said Impact Forecasting’s monthly “Global Catastrophe Recap.”
Much of the inland flood loss in North Carolina went uninsured due to low take-up of the U.S. government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the report explained.
Meanwhile, Matthew caused economic damage of more than US$5 billion outside of the U.S., with Cuba ($2.6 billion), Haiti ($1.9 billion), and the Bahamas ($600 million) accounting for most of the loss total, the report continued.
Remnant moisture from Matthew brought flooding rain and high winds to parts of Atlantic Canada, where economic damages were expected to reach tens of millions of U.S. dollars, the report said.
Hurricane Matthew killed 49 people in the U.S. – including 28 in North Carolina – and 552 people in the Caribbean, although the unofficial total in Haiti alone was as high as 1,600, said Aon.
“The extensive footprint of Hurricane Matthew left considerable damage and humanitarian impacts from the Caribbean to Canada,” said Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting director and meteorologist.
“The system also became the costliest hurricane in the United States since Sandy in 2012. Despite causing billions of dollars in damage, it could have been even more catastrophic,” he affirmed. “Had several slight wobbles not occurred, we are likely having an entirely different conversation when it comes to the financial impact in the state of Florida.”
Other natural hazards that occurred elsewhere in the world during October include:
A series of strong earthquakes struck central Italy bringing damage and injuries to a region still in the midst of recovering from a major tremor in August. One fatality and dozens of injuries were reported, with catastrophic damage occurring in several villages. The economic toll was expected to be significant.
Super Typhoon Chaba caused widespread disruption and damage in South Korea claiming at least nine lives. The General Insurance Association of Korea announced that more than 33,100 claims had been filed totaling 143 billion South Korean Won (US$126 million). The report said that overall economic losses were much higher.
Tropical Storm Aere prompted widespread and significant flooding in central Vietnam. At least 31 people died and 122,000 homes were inundated. Significant damage to agricultural interests was reported.
Typhoon Sarika and Super Typhoon Haima both made landfalls in the Philippines and China, killing at least 16 people and damaging or destroying at least 115,000 homes. Aggregated economic losses exceeded US$1.8 billion mainly due to agricultural damage.
Severe flooding in portions of Asia, Central America, and Egypt claimed at least 57 lives and damaged almost 210,000 homes.
The full report, published by Impact Forecasting, can be viewed on the Aon Benfield website.
Source: Aon Benfield