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Stormy January Cost Economy Billions

According to Impact Forecasting, America’s stormy January, complete with windstorms, heavy rains, El Nino and other natural disasters, has cost the global economy billions of dollars in 2016.

The latest edition of the monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report was launched by Impact Forecasting – Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team. The report evaluated the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during January 2016. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE: AON).

stormy january

The report said that a powerful winter storm brought colossal snowfall, high winds, coastal flooding, freezing rain, ice, sleet, and severe thunderstorms to the Eastern United States during the second half of Stormy January. Fifty-eight people were killed and dozens of others injured. States of emergency were declared in 11 states and Washington, D.C.. Total economic losses were tentatively estimated to exceed US $2.0 billion.

New Yorker Monique Robinson told TenbyTen.org she’s never seen a snow storm the size and scale of January’s blizzard. “I’ve lived in New York my whole life”, says Robinson. “We’ve had big snow storms before, This is a was a monster.”

Meantime, in East Asia, a lengthy period of Arctic cold and snowfall covered much of the region, causing significant damage and impacting travel. At least 116 people were killed across Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and China. Total combined economic losses from the event were cited at nearly US $2.0 billion, with China incurring CNY10.6 billion (US $1.6 billion) of the total cost.

stormy january

Adam Podlaha, Head of Impact Forecasting, said:

“Winter in the Northern Hemisphere was on full display to begin 2016, with several winter storm events impacting parts of the United States, Asia and Europe.”

Other natural disasters that occurred during January 2016 includes:

  • Windstorm Marita, also known as Gertrude in areas of UK, Ireland and Scandinavia. Losses exceeded US $100 million.
  • Pacific storms fueled by El Nino in California cost the economy US $125 million.
  • Heavy rains in Brazil and Ecuador killed 12 people, cost the economy US $110 million.
  • Magnitude 6.7 earthquake in northeast India killed 22 people and cost the economy US $75 million.
  • Waroona Fire in Western Australia cost the economy US $42 million.
  • Drought conditions in South Africa, which caused agricultural damage of around US $250 million.