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Asia’s July monsoon flood bill in tens of billions

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July monsoon flood damage in Asia topped $US20 billion ($27.93 billion), with China, Japan and India hardest hit, while in the US record heat fuelled thunderstorms and a minimal billion-dollar insurance bill, Aon’s latest Global Catastrophe Recap says.

Record-breaking rains described as a 1-in-500-year event triggered flash flooding and landslides in northern and western New Zealand on July 17-18, inundating thousands of homes and agricultural land in Northland. A multi-million-dollar level of direct damage and economic loss is expected.

Aon catastrophe analyst Michal Lörinc, says despite a record early start to the Atlantic Hurricane Season, the most significant natural peril events were noted in Asia during July.

“Much of the physical damage to property, infrastructure and agriculture was anticipated to be uninsured, only reinforcing the importance of finding ways to help lower the protection gap across the region,” he said. “Utilizing tools such as catastrophe models can help aid in identifying areas of highest risk”.

Hurricane Hanna became the earliest eighth-named “H” storm on record in the Atlantic Basin, and the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic Season. Losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars were estimated.

Tropical Storm Fay, the earliest sixth-named “F” storm on record in the Atlantic Ocean, made landfall along the New Jersey coast on July 10. Losses were estimated at $US350 million ($488.78 million) , with public and private insurers covering roughly one-third.

Hail, straight-line winds and isolated tornadoes on July 10-12 from the US Rocky Mountains into the Midwest created losses estimated to reach above $US900 million ($1.26 billion), with a majority being insured.

In southern Japan, flash flooding and landslides from July 3-10 prompted a nearly $US4 billion ($5.6 billion) recovery effort.