Global disasters in May include hailstorms, floods, cyclones, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

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U.S. insurers face multi-billion dollar payment from convection storms in May, which caused extensive hail, tornado, wind and flood damage in a series of events separate during the month, according to broker Aon plc in the latest edition of its monthly “Global Disaster Summary Report.”

It should be noted that a severe storm swept through the plains, lower and middle valleys of the Mississippi, southeastern and central Atlantic from May 3-5, with combined economic losses of over 850 million. dollars, Aon said, noting, however, that most hail and wind damage is insured.

Additionally, a series of frontal systems resulted in widespread severe weather from May 6 to 11, bringing large hail, destructive straight winds, tornadoes and flooding to parts of the plains, middle and lower valley of the River. Mississippi and Southeast. The total economic losses were estimated at $ 350 million.

On May 17, flash flood emergencies were issued for locations in southeast Texas and southern Louisiana. Meanwhile, severe daily storms generated destructive hail, strong straight-line winds and brief tornadoes, according to the report. Total economic losses from inclement weather and flooding to date have been estimated at $ 1.1 billion, with much of the flood damage in Louisiana likely uninsured.

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Meanwhile, two tropical cyclones hit India during the month. Cyclone Tauktae made landfall on May 17 in the Indian state of Gujarat as a hurricane equivalent to Category 3 on the Hurricane Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. At least 198 people have been killed in India and Sri Lanka, with an estimated economic cost of $ 1.5 billion. As an equivalent Category 1 storm, Cyclone Yaas made landfall on May 26, causing at least 19 deaths and damage or destruction of more than 325,000 homes. Yaas affected the states of Odisha and West Bengal, with economic losses for West Bengal alone estimated at 200 billion INR ($ 2.7 billion).

“Natural disasters continued to have notable impacts in parts of the world in May, which often marks the start of a transition to tropical cyclone season in the northern hemisphere. While the main focus is on the Atlantic Ocean, the greatest activity last month was seen in the northern Indian Ocean as two cyclones hit the east and west coasts of India within days. Said Michal Lörinc, senior disaster analyst for Aon Impact Forecasting. team.

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Other global natural hazard events during the month of May include:

  • The associated heavy rainfall, influenced by La Niña, resulted in continued flooding along tributaries of the Amazon River in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. The floods affected thousands of structures and inundated large tracts of farmland.
  • A long period of rain in mid-May affected several countries in central Europe. The event resulted in death and damage to several thousand properties, mostly located in rural communities. Aggregate economic losses were expected in tens of millions of euros.
  • A volcanic eruption on Mount Nyiragongo occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on May 22. The lava reached the city of Goma, prompting thousands to evacuate. At least 32 people have been killed and hundreds of homes have been destroyed by the lava flow.
  • Two separate strong earthquakes hit China on May 21 and 22. A 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Yunnan province, near Dali town, killed three people and caused extensive damage to around 13,000 structures. Preliminary economic losses amounted to around $ 50 million. The impact of a 7.3 magnitude event in Qinghai Province was relatively minor, having occurred in a sparsely populated area. However, around 8,200 structures were damaged or destroyed.
  • Relentless rains from May 29 to June 1 triggered “once in 100 years” flooding in New Zealand’s Canterbury region, with additional impacts seen on the west coast, Auckland and Otago. In addition to a large area of ​​farmland left inundated, preliminary reports indicated that thousands of homes, roads and bridges had been damaged or destroyed. The total economic losses probably amounted to tens of millions of US dollars.
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Photograph: This Monday, May 24, 2021, a satellite image provided by NASA shows Cyclone Yaas approaching the east coast of India. Photo credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) via UKTN.

Related:

Hailstorms in the United States that cost insurers billions – and other natural disasters in April: Aon

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