Last summer’s severe floods in Limburg and western Germany, among other places, are Europe’s most expensive natural disaster ever. Globally, 2021 comes in fourth when it comes to financial damage from wildfires, earthquakes, and storms, for example. German reinsurer Munich Re announced that a remarkably large portion of all damages were in the United States.
Floods in Germany, Belgium and Limburg last July due to exceptionally heavy rain killed more than two hundred people and caused 46 billion euros in damages. Of this amount, 33 billion euros were in Germany, the highest ever for this country. A relatively small portion was reimbursed by insurance companies. According to Munich Re, this is because flood insurance is not common in Germany and many uninsured roads have been damaged. The German government provided support for the victims just like the Dutch government.
According to Munich Re, the global damage caused by natural disasters has reached around 250 billion euros. Most of that damage occurred in the United States, with Hurricane Ida in the south, with winds of about 150 mph, the most costly disaster. Damage totaled $65 billion. Tens of thousands of buildings were damaged or destroyed.
The severe cold and dozens of violent hurricanes also caused a lot of damage in the country. Particularly hard hit was Mayfield, Kentucky, which was home to a long, massive, wedge-shaped tornado. Large parts of the city, including a candle factory, were completely destroyed. According to preliminary estimates, the total losses are about 5.2 billion dollars. An estimated 90 people were killed.
In Asia, losses remained modest, with economic losses totaling $50 billion, of which only $9 billion were insured. The most costly natural disaster was the great flood in central China’s Henan Province, where many rivers, including the Yellow River, overflowed. Hundreds of thousands of homes were flooded. Cost: about $16.5 billion.
2011 was the most expensive year ever in terms of natural disasters, and the year major earthquakes occurred in Japan and New Zealand. The damage to the world at that time amounted to more than 300 billion euros. Torsten Jeworrek, Director of Munich Re, stresses in the introduction to the report that “communities urgently need to adapt to increasing climate risks and make climate protection a priority”.
Floods leave Germany devastated. “I’ve never seen so much water”
Heavy rains in recent days have unleashed Germany’s deadliest natural disaster in nearly 60 years. The residents of the disaster area were shocked. “It was horrible, we couldn’t help anyone.
$210 billion in natural disaster damages in 2020
Last year, natural disasters caused $210 billion in damages worldwide, or more than 171 billion euros. The United States has been particularly hard hit by hurricanes and large wildfires.
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