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Storms take heavy toll on Americas

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Severe winter weather in central and eastern US caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage last month, according to Impact Forecasting’s latest global catastrophe report.

Parts of the US Midwest and Canada endured multiple storm systems, causing economic and insured losses in the hundreds of millions.

And more than 2000 homes were damaged or destroyed amid record rainfall in California, the February recap says.

In South America, torrential rain in Chile damaged more than 5700 homes. The government allocated $US91 million ($129.72 million) in relief funds. Colombia suffered millions of dollars in damage from flooding, with more than 4000 homes damaged or destroyed.

Strong wind and heavy rainfall in Italy, Croatia, Greece and Malta is thought to have caused at least €200 million ($319.11 million) of damage.

An earthquake in China caused $US37 million ($52.74 million) of economic losses and damaged 11,000 structures.

Payouts for flooding in north Queensland have exceeded $893 million, with 22,204 claims filed, according to the Insurance Council of Australia figures. Total economic losses are expected to be at least $1.7 billion, Aon-owned Impact says.