Hurricane Michael hits US hard

An illustration of a tornado.

Impact Forecasting, part of Aon, has released the October 2018 edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap, which suggests that Hurricane Michael could cost the US economy as much as $15 billion.

The hurricane was the strongest tropical cyclone on record to hit the Florida Panhandle and the fourth strongest to strike the US, causing 45 deaths and widespread wind and flood-related damage. Public and private insurers in the US are expected to have weather payouts of at least $8 billion.

Strong weather also struck Europe in late October and early November, with Italy particularly hard-hit; economic losses are estimated to exceed $3.4 billion.

“While the majority of the headlines in October centred around the significant impacts from Hurricane Michael, other regions of the globe additionally endured notable catastrophes,” said Michal Lorinc, one of Impact Forecasting’s catastrophe analysts. “In Europe, a series of costly storm and flood events led to a multi-billion-dollar financial impact, with much of the damage incurred to property and agriculture in Italy. The continent, which has been marked by numerous windstorms, severe drought conditions, and prolonged flood events, is currently on track to have its costliest year for weather disasters since 2013.”

October also saw typhoons in the Asia-Pacific, multiple major storms in Japan, a cyclone in India and an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 in Haiti.