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Global floods cause $8bn damage in March alone
Over half of that figure is attributable to damage done by flooding in the Missouri and Mississippi river basins in the Midwestern United States following heavy snowfall and rain.
The floods have inflicted an estimated economic loss of more than $4.25bn across eight states, and Aon’s report predicts that public and private insurers face up to $1bn in claims.
Floods also caused extensive damage in Iran, where weeks of torrential rain are estimated to have led to economic losses of $3.6bn.
After flooding, the costliest catastrophe in March was Cyclone Idai. In Mozambique, where the storm made landfall, the damage is estimated at over $1bn. It caused further damage in neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Western and Central Europe faced hundreds of millions in damage from two winter storms in the first half of March. The total losses from Storm Freya are expected to exceed £115m, while Storm Eberhard is anticipated to be even costlier.
Michal Lörinc, senior catastrophe analyst at Aon’s catastrophe modelling centre Impact Forecasting, said: “The major catastrophe events of March highlighted the continued vulnerabilities which exist in both developed and emerging markets.
“The multi-billion-dollar impacts from flooding in the United States, Iran, and Cyclone Idai in Southern Africa were each enhanced by infrastructure unable to handle the large scale of water inundation.
“In an increasingly volatile era for weather events and their impacts on a growing exposure, it will be critical that resilience and risk mitigation planning will become more pronounced in the public and private sectors.”