Most expensive natural disasters
Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods are vastly expensive, in economic terms and more importantly, in terms of casualties and fatalities. The early years of the 21st century have seen some of the most expensive natural disasters of all-time.
2011 Australian Floods
Extensive flooding in Australia, which began in December 2010, has resulted in 25 deaths, with numerous others reported missing. Wayne Swan, the Australian Deputy Prime Minister told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, on January 17th, "It looks like this is possibly going to be, in economic terms, the largest natural disaster in our history." He added that reconstruction in flooded regions "will involve billions of dollars of Commonwealth money and also state government money and will likely take years."
2010 Haiti Earthquake
An earthquake measuring 7.0 on the moment magnitude scale occurred in Haiti on 12th January 2010, the worst in the area for over 2 centuries. Casualty figures are uncertain, with the Haitian government estimating 230,000 deaths and 300,000 injuries. However, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reported a maximum death toll of 92,000. With many thousands of homes and commercial premises damaged or destroyed, the Inter-American Development Bank estimated reconstruction costs at $14 billion.
2010 Chile Earthquake
On February 27th 2010, an earthquake of magnitude 8.8 occurred off the Chilean coast. Along with widespread devastation in Chile, the quake triggered a tsunami, causing further damage. Initial reports suggested over 700 deaths, later revised to 486. Several sources report reconstruction costs of $4- $7 billion.
2005 USA Hurricane Katrina
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina crossed southern Florida, resulting in several deaths. It intensified quickly in the Gulf of Mexico, before striking Louisiana on 29th August. It resulted in severe storm surge damage along the Gulf Coast, with inland flooding in 8 states. Estimated costs of approximately $125 billion made this the most expensive natural disaster in US history, with an approximate death toll of 1833.
2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami
On 26th December 2004, the earthquake rated at 9.3 was the 3rd strongest recorded, with the longest duration of 10 minutes. The whole planet vibrated by 0.4" and other 'quakes were triggered as far away as the USA. Coupled with destructive tsunamis in the Indian Ocean, the earthquake killed approximately ¼ million people in 15 countries.
With more and more disasters and earthquakes happening I would ensure you have the correct cover for your home and your belongings
Garry Hudson writes about all things financial and debt related and currently works for Baines and Ernst