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Perils releases final Cyclone Gabrielle loss estimate 

Catastrophe data specialist Perils says Cyclone Gabrielle caused $NZ2.17 billion ($2.03 billion) of insured losses, in its fourth and final estimate for the event.

Gabrielle hit the North Island of New Zealand from February 11-17 last year. Gusts reached 146kmh, and 568mm of rain fell in 48 hours.

“The impact of the heavy rain was exacerbated by saturated soils from previous wet weather, including the North Island flood event, leading to widespread damage to property and critical infrastructure due to flooding, coastal inundation, landslides and high winds,” Perils said.

The event came less than two weeks after the North Island floods, which Perils estimates caused an industry loss of $NZ2.23 billion ($2.09 billion). 

“Together with Cyclone Gabrielle, this brings the total insured loss from the two events to $NZ4.4 billion ($4.12 billion), by far the largest weather-related insurance industry losses in New Zealand’s history,” Perils said.

Last week, Perils said storms that struck Australia’s east coast in December produced insured losses of $1.4 billion, the nation’s largest catastrophe loss of last year. The December 23-29 storms hit Victoria, NSW and Queensland, with a prolonged period of severe convective storm activity bringing large hail, intense winds, flash floods and tornadoes.