DAILY NEWS Feb 7, 2013 2:52 PM - 0 comments

January marked by flooding in Australia, Indonesia causing losses of $6 billion

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Flooding in Australia and Indonesia causing losses of $6 billion was among the major catastrophes in the first month of the year, notes Aon Benfield’s latest recap report.

EvacuationHeavy rain causing major flooding throughout Indonesia killed at least 41 people, notes the company’s January 2013 Global Catastrophe Recap report, compiled by its catastrophe modelling arm Impact Forecasting.

Government officials there forecast total economic losses of $3.31 billion and insured losses above $311 million, the report states. According to the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), at least 100,274 homes were damaged or destroyed.

In the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales, catastrophic flooding caused insured losses of more than $313 million, with more than 27,800 claims being filed by the end of the month, according to the Insurance Council of Australia.

Total economic losses in Queensland are estimated at $2.5 billion, the report says. Australia also had bushfires causing insured losses of $90 million last month.

Southern Africa also saw record rainfall in January, where at least 150,000 people were displaced in Mozambique alone.

Flood damage and fatalities also occurred in Brazil, Ecuador, Turkey, China, Philippines, and Sri Lanka during the month.

"As our January catastrophe report highlights, the potential for excessive rainfall and resultant flooding is a major challenge for countries across the world, and yet it is still one of the lesser modeled perils on a global basis,” Steve Jakubowski , president of Impact Forecasting commented in a statement.

January was also highlighted by about 50 tornadoes in the United States, and the strongest winter storm in more than a decade in the Middle East.

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