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June weather pushes up global catastrophes bill

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A June 13 hailstorm in the Calgary metro region is one of Canada’s most expensive thunderstorm-related events on record, Aon’s Global Catastrophe Recap report says.

Total economic losses were estimated at up to $C1.7 billion ($1.8 billion). Roughly three-quarters of the damage was covered by insurance.

Steve Bowen, a director and meteorologist on the Impact Forecasting team at Aon, says while the US often drives most hail-related impacts, “other areas such as Canada, Australia, Germany, and France are frequent to the risk”.

He says the size and intensity of the Calgary storm over such a concentrated population centre magnified the potential of extensive damage.

Severe weather in the US in June resulted in an economic loss exceeding $US2.3 billion ($3.32 billion).

The costliest event was a prolonged weather pattern from June 5-11 across much of the eastern two-thirds of the US that caused total economic losses estimated at $US800 million ($1.15 billion), of which 75% was insured.

A series of four tornadoes touched down across parts of New Zealand’s North Island on June 26-27. Total economic and insured losses are likely to reach into the low-digit millions.

Torrential seasonal rains in China killed at least 106 people and China’s total combined economic losses during June alone were listed by the Government at RMB35.8 billion ($7.2 billion).

Tropical Storm Cristobal affected parts of Central America and the southern US. Total economic losses were estimated at more than $US650 million ($936.89 million).

Several severe weather outbreaks in June impacted parts of Central Europe, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria and Hungary. Losses are likely to exceed $US150 million ($216.21 million).