At about $28 billion, the US accounted for nearly half of all losses in the first half and nearly two-thirds of insurance losses totaling $19 billion, the report said. Torrential rain followed by a typhoon was responsible for this destruction. A single hurricane that produced hurricane-force winds in April caused more than $3 billion worth of property damage, three-thirds of which was insured.
In the first half of 2022, major hurricanes cost US$22 billion, with insured losses of US$17 billion, Munich Re said.
This year’s monsoon season is expected to bring heavy rain to the North Atlantic. Munich Re predicts 18 hurricanes, eight hurricanes and four hurricanes. Forecast models by foreign analysts expect the hurricane to reach the extreme end of the scale, Munich Re said.
During the summer and early autumn, eastern Australia was hit by torrential rains and floods, costing $6.6 billion. Parts of Queensland and New South Wales saw more rain and flooding, with the last week in February being the wettest since 1900 and some regions posting their worst floods since 1893. The cost to insurance companies is $3.7 billion, according to and Munich. Re.
In Japan, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck the east of the main island of Honshu in March, causing $8.8 billion in damages and $2.8 billion in insured losses.
Overall, the Asia-Pacific region incurred $22 billion in total losses from natural disasters for the first half of the year, more than the rest of the region. Insurance losses totaled $8 billion.
The value of helping people
The biggest humanitarian disaster in the first quarter was an earthquake in Afghanistan that killed nearly 1,200 people. Globally, 4,300 people were killed by natural disasters in the first half of 2022, a higher number than in previous years.
Read the following: Climate risks: The importance of education, risk reduction and insurance
In Europe, extreme heat and dry weather at the beginning of summer caused wildfires and water shortages, especially in Spain and Portugal. Munich Re said that it is often difficult to put an exact figure on the damage caused by heat and drought, because the consequences – such as industrial losses due to the lack of cooling water – are slow to emerge.
Today’s temperature is controlled by an unusual combination of high pressure in the middle of Europe together with a very low area near the west of Europe, which causes the warm air from the Sahara and North Africa to go to the upper surface. Human-induced climate change has also caused annual temperatures to rise by more than 1.5°C since climate records began in the late 19th century – well above the global warming of 1.2°C.
“What used to be hot days are hot days, what used to be hot are hot days,” said Ernst Rauch, chief climate scientist at Munich Re and head of the Climate Solutions Unit. “Droughts and wildfires are the result of this.”
Northern and northwestern Europe were also affected by storms, especially in February. Ireland, England, parts of Belgium, the Netherlands, northern Germany and the Baltic coast were the hardest hit. The storm caused an estimated $5.2 billion in damages.
“They can all be isolated events for different reasons, but taken together, one thing is very clear: the strong influence of climate change is becoming evident,” Rauch said. “And the impact on people around the world is increasing.
“The IPCC has also come out clearly, saying that climate-related disasters such as heat waves, storms or droughts on a hot Earth will increase in frequency and intensity. Heat waves can last longer and bring more heat. This will vary from region to region; in Europe it will be the south which will be affected the most.”