DAILY NEWS Jan 7, 2013 2:04 PM - 0 comments

Typhoon Bopha, tropical storms in Asia among major December catastrophes: Aon

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Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines was among the major catastrophes that marked December 2012, causing $802 million in economic losses to agriculture, infrastructure and private property, Aon Benfield notes in its latest report.

WeatherAn additional $122 million of losses is allocated to the rehabilitation of farms and in Palau, Bopha caused $20 million in damage, Aon states in its Global Catastrophe Recap report for December 2012, conducted by its Impact Forecasting division.

The company also notes that the typhoon killed more than 1,900 people after making landfall on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao as a Category 5 typhoon.

Bopha damaged or destroyed more than 216,000 homes in 34 provinces including Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley which sustained extensive damage.

Also in the Philippines, Tropical Storm Wukong led to reported losses to agriculture and infrastructure of $5.5 million.

Cyclone Evan also crossed the Samoan Islands, Fiji, Tonga and other small islands in the South Pacific Basin, killing at least 14 people. In Samoa, Evan caused extensive damage along coastal areas, with total economic losses estimated at $133 million; in Fiji, economic losses were estimated at $8.4 million.

Flooding throughout Asia was also prevalent during December, with nearly 30,000 homes in Sri Lanka alone being damaged or destroyed, in addition to agriculture and infrastructure.

"The cyclonic weather that Southeast Asia and the South Pacific experienced during December has had a devastating effect on local populations,” Steve Jakubowski , president of Impact Forecasting, noted in a statement,.

“Insurance and reinsurance penetration in the affected territories is significantly lower than in the more mature western markets, so the impact of a weather system such as Super Typhoon Bopha on the Philippines places an even greater strain on regional recovery efforts and the availability of sufficient government aid."

New Zealand also had its deadliest tornado in 60 years in December, which damaged or destroyed at least 150 homes. New Zealand's Ministry of Civil Defense estimated total damages at $9.1 million.

The report for December (available on Aon Benfield's website) comes before the company's Annual Global Catastrophe report, which will be launched on Jan. 24. That report will provide a month-by-month detailed analysis of the worldwide weather events of 2012 in addition to comprehensive climatological analysis.

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