The 2019 Global Catastrophe Recap Report

torrential downpour warning

The latest edition of the monthly Global Catastrophe Recap Report has been released by Aon Plc, and in it, the company evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during May 2019.

The report cites that in addition to the seven outbreaks of sever convective storms that swept across central and eastern section of the US, data from the National Oceanic and Administrative Association (NOAA) indicates that there were nearly 4,400 individual reports of tornadoes, hail, and straight-line winds – the most in May since 2011.

Furthermore, continued flooding resulted in billions of dollars’ worth of total economic and insured losses, as record-breaking rainfall in Oklahoma and Kansas caused historic flooding throughout the Arkansas River Basin, accompanied by remnant flooding in the Missouri and Mississippi River Basins.

“Historically, May has been the most active month for tornadoes in the United States and 2019 was no exception, with the highest May tally since 2015,” said Steve Bowen, Director and Meteorologist within Aon’s Impact Forecasting team. “A persistent weather pattern led to several multi-day outbreaks of severe weather that resulted in tornadoes, large hail, damaging straight-line winds, and record-breaking rainfall, which had a considerable impact on property and the agricultural sector. Severe convective storms have resulted in at least US$10 billion in US insurance pay-outs annually since 2008, and we are likely headed towards a 12th consecutive year.”

But the US is not the only country to have suffered during the stormy month of May: over in China’s Yunnan Province, ongoing draught conditions affected more than 675,000 acres of cropland and effected $138 million of financial cost; prolonged rainfall in much of Paraguay caused widespread flooding that killed at least six people, led to the evacuation of over 40,000 residents, and significantly harmed the cattle industry; and in Southern Europe, severe weather that also affected the Balkans resulted in abundant rainfall that caused rivers in the Emilia-Romagna region to overflow and inundate around 600 homes, businesses and agricultural land.

In Tanzania, five people died, thousands were misplaced, and over 1,000 homes were flooded due to particularly severe flooding in the Dar es Salaam and Mbeya regions. In addition, further flooding killed six people in Yemen alone, with at least six others missing after being swept away by flash flooding in the Wad Bani Khalid in Oman. One person was also swept away by flood waters in the Saudi Arabia. The total economic costs for this flooding in the Arabian Peninsula were forecast to be millions of US dollars.

Severe weather is an increasing issue, both because of the time of year and the effect of global warming. It is prudent that both travellers and businesses follow the advice offered during this particularly brutal storm season to ensure the safety of personnel and their belongings.

You can read the full report here.