The total economic cost of flooding in China in July has been estimated at nearly $25 billion - Impact Forecasting

Historic rainfall prompted catastrophic flash flooding across China’s Henan Province from 16-22 July, killing at least 302 people and injuring many others, according to Aon’s Impact Forecasting July Global Catastrophe Recap report.

The flooding generated extensive damage to property, agriculture and infrastructure across the region. Significant impacts were incurred in the Zhengzhou metro area on July 20 as all-time rainfall records were broken.

Additional flooding and dam failures resulted in fatalities and damage in nearby Hubei Province and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The total economic cost of flooding in China during the month of July was estimated at nearly $25 billion. The flood damage in Zhengzhou was anticipated to cost insurers up to $1.7 billion – the highest natural disaster payout for the Chinese insurance industry on record.

Steve Bowen, managing director and head of Catastrophe Insight on the Impact Forecasting team at Aon, said: “One of the hallmarks of climate change involves extreme events becoming more extreme.”

”The recent release of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report confirms this to be true and notes an accelerating trend of these types of extremes as seen in observed events.”

”The recent historic rainfall and flooding in Europe and Asia while juxtaposed against the most intense drought conditions recorded in North America in decades highlights the fragility of the climate system and the need to invest in actionable strategic solutions that lower physical and non-physical risks.”

”Improving and stabilising these risks is essential, but also achievable.”

Meanwhile, seasonal monsoon flooding and associated convective storms continued in India throughout July, including a particularly intense spell from 22-28 July. Hundreds of people were killed in July as the seasonal death toll rose to 534. The total economic loss in India increased to at least $1.6 billion; most of which is uninsured.

Also in July, New Zealand’s South Island was affected by severe floods following heavy rainfall from 15-18 July. Hundreds of people were evacuated from the worst-affected areas in the Marlborough and Buller districts. Total economic losses were estimated in the tens of millions (USD).