US insurers are facing a multi-billion dollar payout from May's convective storms, which caused extensive hail, tornado, wind and flood damage over a series of separate events during the month, according to broker Aon plc in the latest edition of his monthly magazine "Summary of the global disaster" report.
Notable was a severe storm that swept across the Plains, Lower and Middle Mississippi Valley, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic parts of the country from May 3-5, with combined economic losses of more than $850 million, Aon said. that most hail and wind damage is insured.
In addition, a series of frontal systems resulted in widespread severe weather from May 6-11, with large hail, damaging straight winds, tornadoes and flooding to parts of the plains, the central and lower Mississippi Valley and the southeast. Total economic losses were estimated at $350 million.
On May 17, flash flood emergency measures were issued for places in southeastern Texas and southern Louisiana. At the same time, daily severe storms brought damaging hail, strong straight-line winds and brief tornadoes, the report said. Total economic losses from the severe weather and flooding on this day were estimated at $1.1 billion, with much of Louisiana's flood-related damage likely to be uninsured.
Meanwhile, two tropical cyclones hit India during the month. Cyclone Tauktae made landfall in the Indian state of Gujarat on May 17 as a Category 3 equivalent hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. At least 198 people were killed in India and Sri Lanka, at an estimated economic cost of $1.5 billion. As a Category 1 storm, Cyclone Yaas made landfall on May 26, killing at least 19 and damaging or destroying more than 325,000 homes. Yaas hit the states of Odisha and West Bengal, with economic losses estimated at INR 200 billion ($2.7 billion) in West Bengal alone.
“Natural disasters continued to significantly affect areas around the world in May, often signaling the start of a transition to the tropical cyclone season in the Northern Hemisphere. While most of the attention has focused on the Atlantic Ocean, most activity was found last month in the North Indian Ocean, when two cyclones hit the east and west coasts of India in a matter of days,” said Michal Lörinc, senior disaster analyst for Aon's Impact Forecasting team.
Other global natural disasters in the month of May include:
- Heavy rainfall, impacted by La Niña, caused ongoing flooding along tributaries of the Amazon River in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. The floods hit thousands of structures and inundated vast agricultural lands.
- A prolonged downpour in mid-May hit several countries in Central Europe. The event resulted in one death and damage to several thousand properties, mostly in rural communities. Aggregated economic losses were expected in the tens of millions of euros.
- On May 22, a volcanic eruption occurred on Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lava reached the city of Goma, forcing thousands of people to evacuate. At least 32 people were killed and hundreds of homes were destroyed by the lava flow.
- Two separate strong earthquakes hit China on May 21 and 22. A 6.1 on the Richter scale in Yunnan province near Dali City killed three people and caused extensive damage to about 13,000 buildings. Preliminary economic losses were listed at approximately $50 million. The impact of a magnitude 7.3 event in Qinghai Province was relatively small, as it occurred in a sparsely populated region. Still, about 8,200 structures were damaged or destroyed.
- The incessant rainfall from May 29 to June 1 caused flooding in New Zealand's Canterbury region, which is 'one in a hundred years'. occurred, with additional consequences for the west coast, Auckland and Otago. In addition to a vast expanse of farmland that was under water, preliminary reports stated that thousands of homes, roads and bridges were either damaged or destroyed. Total economic losses would likely run into the tens of millions of US dollars.
Photo: This Monday, May 24, 2021, a satellite image from NASA shows Cyclone Yaas approaching the east coast of India. Photo credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) via AP.
Hailstorms in US costing insurers billions – and other natural disasters in April: Aon
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