Saturday, October 15, 2011

Insured losses from Hurricane Jova at less than $52 million

Insurance Journal: Catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide, estimates that insured losses caused by Hurricane Jova from flood-induced damage, as well as from some isolated wind damage along Mexico’s southern coastal areas, will be “less than MXN 700 million ($52 million),” assuming an exchange rate of 1 USD = 13.4 MXN.

AIR noted that “after striking a sparsely populated stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast on October 11 as a Category 2 hurricane, Jova weakened as it traveled inland towards the north, dissipating late last night over the state of Nayarit. Because it was a small storm and weakened to tropical storm strength within 12 hours of landfall, damage from Jova’s winds has been limited.”

Dr. Tim Doggett, principal scientist at AIR Worldwide, noted that the “heavy rainfall, which began as Jova’s outer rain bands approached the coast prior to landfall and is finally subsiding after the storm’s dissipation, has caused serious flooding and landslides in parts of Colima and Jalisco. Mexico’s coastal mountains enhanced precipitation on the north and east sides of the storm. As the slow-moving storm came ashore, its counterclockwise flow of air was forced over the mountainous terrain, cooling in its ascent and forming clouds and precipitation.”

Winds covered a limited area and thus did less damage than expected. The storms did bring heavy rainfall. AIR said that reports from Mexico’s National Weather Service “indicate up to 37 cm (14.5 in) of rainfall in parts of Colima, and 10–12 cm (4-5 in) in other impacted areas, including parts of Chiapas, Jalisco, and Michoacán. These rainfall totals fall within the forecast range.

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