Saturday, February 5, 2011

Australia / Storm: damage could cost up to 3.7 bn EUR (experts)

Paris (awp / afp) - The cost of damage caused by Cyclone Yasi, which hit the northeastern coast of Australia in the night between Wednesday and Thursday could reach up to 3.7 billion euros by extrapolating the most pessimistic experts in modeling of claims.
The cyclone, with a maximum intensity at landfall, made no direct victim, but devastated the area south of the tourist city of Cairns (north-east). Yasi continued Friday to advance the interior but its power has diminished and it was downgraded to Category 1 on a scale which has five.
The company EQECAT, one of the leading experts in modeling the financial consequences of natural events, estimated between 2.2 and 3.7 billion cost of the damage.
Rival AIR estimated the damage cost could be between 250 million and 1.10 billion for insured property alone.
For the expert group Tropical Storm Risk, quoted by the Market Watch website, insured losses could exceed 2.6 billion euros.
These companies rely on modeling of historical data and complex mathematical formulas to measure the potential impact of natural disasters. All large companies use their services and are thus able to reduce their exposure to the most expensive.
The region most affected by the storm in Queensland, is the plantation of sugarcane and bananas. The state had already been hit by devastating floods in late 2010/early 2011, when the equivalent of 450 million euros of crops had been destroyed.
Some 20% of sugar cane plantations were shredded by the winds, representing a shortfall of 370 million euros.
Australia ranks third in world sugar exports: 85% of its production goes to Asia and reported 1.5 billion euros per year.
As for bananas, hit even worse, 85% of Australian production has been destroyed, according to the federation of farmers.

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