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Catastrophes report for April 2013

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The global catastrophes in April were dominated by an earthquake in China and two in Iran.

There were also other earthquakes recorded for Japan, Afghanistan and Hungary during the month.

Parts of the U.S. suffered severe hail and flooding damage during April, although there were fewer tornadoes than expected.

Then there was a major building collapse in Bangladesh with its cause yet to be determined but thought to be caused by inadequate construction.

The earthquake that struck China’s Sichuan Province measured 6.6 magnitude. It killed at least 196 people and injuring 13,484 others. According to the report, Local government officials estimated economic losses at AUD $30 billion. If verified, potential insured losses would be around AUD $250 million, given that only one percent of the population insure..

Two strong earthquakes killing at least 41 people and injuring 1,100 others across 92 villages, took place in Iran in April, including a magnitude-6.3 earthquake that struck southern Iran,. Iranian provincial officials recorded economic damages of AUD $600 million. A stronger magnitude-7.8 tremor hit near the Iran/Pakistan border. In Pakistan’s Balochistan Province there were 36 casualties.

Earthquakes were also recorded in April in Japan, Afghanistan and Hungary.

During April, the U.S. experienced fewer tornadoes than usual but severe hail storm and flooding activity.

Preliminary data from the United States indicated that only 83 tornadoes struck in April, which, if confirmed, would represent a 60 percent decrease from the 206 tornadoes in April 2012 and an 89 percent decrease from the record 758 tornadoes in April 2011.

Most of the U.S. severe weather damage occurred from hail and damaging wind events in the Plains, Midwest and Southeast, with at least five events combining to cause a minimum of AUD $700 million in economic losses.

Severe flooding affected the U.S. Midwest, where rivers crested well beyond flood stage in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri following prolonged rainfall. Initial data from damage assessments suggest total economic losses in the hundreds of millions.

Rounds of severe thunderstorms also affected China, where multiple events swept across central, southern and eastern sections of the country. The Ministry of Civil Affairs reported that tornado touchdowns, severe winds and hail killed 14 people and damaged more than 100,000 homes. Total economic losses were listed at CNY 2.86 billion (USD $463 million). 

Last changed: May 12 2013 at 9:24 PM

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