Droughts and Heat Waves

Drought

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), as of July 14, 2015, Moderate to Exceptional drought is impacting 25.1 percent of the area of the United States and 26 percent of the lower 48 states. Drought impacts 79.5 million people in the United States.  Long term drought coupled with increasing potential for offshore winds will keep wildfire potential elevated in California through October. In response to California’s historic drought which began in 2012, on May 5, 2015, for the first time in the state’s history, mandatory water restrictions were ordered by California’s governor Jerry Brown.

Heat Waves

According to the National Weather Service heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year and even more heat-related illnesses. June 2015 was the warmest June on record for the globe according to the National Center for Environmental Information.

 

NATURAL CATASTROPHE LOSSES IN THE UNITED STATES, 2015

(Based on perils)

Source: © 2016 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE; Property Claim Services (PCS®)*, a Verisk Analytics® business. As of February 2016.

View Archived Graphs

 

 

Global Catastrophes, 2015

  Number of incidents Deaths Insured loss ($ millions)
Storms 102 2,011 $20,624
Floods 55 2,528 4,306
Drought, bush fires, heat waves 23 4,955 2,043
Earthquakes 13 9,500 510
Hail 3 0 306
Cold, frost 1 21 0
Other natural catastrophes 1 350 0
Total natural catastrophes 198 19,365 $27,789
Man-made disasters 155 6,994 $8,983
All catatrophes (1) 353 26,359 $36,772

(1) Based on events classified by Swiss Re as a catastrophe. The threshold is $19.7 million in insured losses for maritime disasters, $39.3 million for aviation disasters and $48.8 million for other losses or $97.7 million in total economic losses; or at least 20 dead or missing, 50 injured or 2,000 made homeless.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma,1/2016.

View Archived Tables

 

 

Top 10 Deadliest World Catastrophes, 1970-2015

Rank Date Country Event Victims (1)
1 Nov. 11, 1970 Bangladesh Storm and flood catastrophe 300,000
2 Jul. 28, 1976 China Earthquake (M 7.6) 255,000
3 Jan. 12, 2010 Haiti Earthquake (Mw 7.0), aftershocks 222,570
4 Dec. 26, 2004 Indonesia, Thailand et al. Earthquake (Mw 9), tsunami in Indian Ocean 220,000
5 May 2, 2008 Myanmar (Burma), Bay of Bengal Tropical cyclone Nargis, Irrawaddy Delta flooded  138,300
6 Apr. 29, 1991 Bangladesh Tropical cyclone Gorky 138,000
7 May 12, 2008 China Earthquake (Mw 7.9) in Sichuan, aftershocks 87,449
8 Oct. 8, 2005 Pakistan, India, Afghanistan Earthquake (Mw 7.6), aftershocks, landslides 74,310
9 May 31, 1970 Peru Earthquake (M 7.9), massive avalanche and floods 66,000
10 Jun. 15, 2010 Russia, Czech Republic  Heat wave with temperatures up to 40◦ Celsius 55,630

(1) Dead and missing.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 1/2016.

View Archived Tables