Global: Super Typhoon Haiyan leads November cat losses

Super Typhoon Haiyan, which made landfall in the central Philippines as one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, leads cat losses in November, according to Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development centre of global reinsurance intermediary, Aon Benfield. Total economic losses – including damage and reconstruction costs – are estimated at PHP250 billion (US$5.8 billion), while insured losses are expected to reach the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mr Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting senior scientist and meteorologist, said: “The level of devastation and casualties in the Philippines sustained from Super Typhoon Haiyan makes this one of the most significant natural disaster events in 2013.” Haiyan killed at least 5,719 people and injured 26,233 others, with 1,779 people declared missing.

In the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which reviews the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during November 2013, Impact Forecasting notes that Cyclone Helen made landfall in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, killing at least 10 people and causing damage to 600 villages. State officials estimated that more than one million acres (405,000 hectares) of crops were destroyed, with total economic losses reaching INR50 billion (US$800 million).

In central and southern Vietnam, Tropical Depression Podul killed at least 42 people and damaged or destroyed 427,258 homes and around 6,000 hectares of cropland, resulting in estimated economic losses of VND1.5 trillion (US$72 million).

Severe weather also affected parts of Australia’s Queensland and New South Wales during the month as separate stretches of powerful thunderstorms produced hail and spawned tornadoes. Total economic and insured losses were estimated in the millions of dollars.

The report also mentioned weather events in Italy, Somalia and the US.