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Novemberís Typhoon Goni strongest ever storm at landfall

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Super Typhoon Goni, which hit the Philippines in November, was the strongest storm at landfall in recorded history with average sustained winds of 315 kilometres an hour, Aon’s latest Global Catastrophe Recap report says.

While not one of the most active months for tropical cyclones, November still set multiple records, Aon says, as hurricanes Eta and Iota became two of the fastest-intensifying storms in the Atlantic.

Iota was also the latest-forming Category 5 storm recorded for the basin.

“While 2020 storms have not set any new financial loss milestones, the scientific records serve as a reminder of the risks posed to both developed and emerging markets,” catastrophe analyst Michal Lörinc said.

Goni made landfall on November 1, killing at least 31 people injuring nearly 400 others. Around 250,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, and a vast area of agricultural land was also affected. The overall economic toll is expected to approach $US1 billion ($1.32 billion).

Hurricane Eta made landfall in Nicaragua, before moving to Honduras and Guatemala and subsequently making landfall in Cuba as a tropical storm. Total economic losses in Central America were estimated at nearly $US7 billion ($9.26 billion), most of which were uninsured.

Eta later made two landfalls in Florida as a tropical storm, prompting economic losses tentatively estimated at $US1.1 billion ($1.46 billion), with insurers covering around half.

Hurricane Iota became the first Category 5 hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic Season on November 16, making landfall in Nicaragua and compounding damage in many localities still recovering from Hurricane Eta. Total economic losses were expected to reach $US1.25 billion ($1.65 billion), most of which will be uninsured.

Four notable severe weather outbreaks impacted the US in November, with straight-line winds, tornadoes and large hail. Compound economic losses were estimated to exceed $US1 billion ($1.32 billion).

Extremely intense rainfall hit eastern Spain on November 5-6, causing notable flooding. The Spanish Insurance Consortium expected 12,000 property claims and losses of €82 million ($132 million).

Typhoon Vamco crossed the Philippines on November 11-12 before striking Vietnam on November 15. At least 200,000 homes were either damaged or destroyed and 99 people killed. Total economic losses were estimated to top PHP50 billion ($1.39 billion) in the Philippines alone.

Tropical Cyclone Gati came ashore on November 22, the strongest storm on record to strike the arid nation of Somalia with an estimated maximum wind speed of 165 kilometres an hour.