Camp Fire most destructive on record in California causing 88 deaths and affecting nearly 20,000 structures
Aon’s Impact Forecasting team today launches the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during November 2018.
The report reveals that a series of major wildfires burned across Northern and Southern California throughout the month; the most catastrophic, the Camp Fire in Butte County, largely destroyed the city of Paradise, killing 88 people with dozens of others unaccounted for.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, CalFire, cited that 19,357 homes and other structures were damaged or destroyed, making the Camp Fire the deadliest and most destructive on record in California. Additionally, three people were killed in the Woolsey Fire as the fire damaged or destroyed nearly 2,000 structures in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
Total aggregated economic losses for the fires were expected to minimally exceed USD10 billion, while insurance claims payouts for wildfires are set to exceed USD10 billion in the United States for the second year running.
Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting Director and Meteorologist, said: “With annual wildfire industry payouts expected to exceed USD10 billion for the second consecutive year in the United States, the standard assumption of wildfire being a secondary peril may evolve in the future. While insurers remain firmly in position to handle the volume of claims in the aftermath of recent events, these heightened losses put a further spotlight on the growing risk of the peril around the world. The growth of exposure into known fire locations and the prospect of more weather and climate-driven effects will require continued focus on mitigation initiatives.”
Meanwhile, Cyclone Gaja made landfall in southern India, causing widespread impacts across the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The cyclone killed 46 people as damage was incurred to more than 117,500 homes. The overall economic impact was listed in excess of INR54 billion (USD775 million).
Two other notable tropical cyclones made landfalls in November, both in Vietnam. Tropical Depression Toraji killed 19 people as damage reached at least VND396 billion (USD17.2 million). A weakened Typhoon Usagi brought record rainfall to the greater Ho Chi Minh metro area. Minimum economic damage was listed at VND347 billion (USD15 million).
Further natural hazard events to have occurred worldwide during November include:
- A major magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck just north of Anchorage, Alaska on November 30, causing widespread damage to residential and commercial property in addition to local transportation and utility infrastructure. Total economic losses were expected to exceed USD100 million.
- Parts of Italy and Spain dealt with complex storm systems and flooding during the end of October into November. In Italy alone, dozens of fatalities were recorded as the inclement weather killed dozens of people. Economic damage was expected to be more than EUR3.0 billion (USD3.4 billion). In Spain, one person was killed as flooding caused severe damage to infrastructure and agriculture. Crop damage in the Valencian region alone will range from EUR70-120 million (USD80-140 million).
- Strong thunderstorms impacted central areas of Chile with large hail and intense rainfall, causing notable agricultural damage. Agricultural industry authorities estimated that economic losses were likely to approach USD200 million. Among the worst affected areas were the O’Higgins and Maule regions.
- Severe weather events also occurred in the United States and Australia.
- Heavy rainfall swept across parts of the Middle East, prompting flash flooding and dozens of casualties. Damage in Kuwait alone was listed at KWD100 million (USD330 million).
- Winter storm events caused notable damage and disruption in the United States and China.
To view the full Impact Forecasting November 2018 Global Catastrophe Recap report, please follow the link:
Along with the report, users can access current and historical natural catastrophe data and event analysis on Impact Forecasting’s Catastrophe Insight website, which is updated bi-monthly as new data become available:
For further information please contact the Reinsurance Solutions PR team: Andrew Wragg (+44 207 522 8183 / 07595 217168) David Bogg or Alexandra Lewis
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Notes to Editors
Aon (NYSE: AON) announced in May 2018 it will retire the business unit brands of Aon Benfield and Aon Risk Solutions, which follows the retirement of the Aon Hewitt business unit brand in 2017. This move was designed to increase the rate of innovation across the firm and make it easier for colleagues to work together to bring the best of Aon to clients. Aon has five specific global solution lines: Commercial Risk Solutions, Reinsurance Solutions, Retirement Solutions, Health Solutions and Data & Analytic Services.
SOURCE Aon plc