A number of above magnitude-6 registered earthquakes struck in April


Earthquake events dominate April’s natural hazard losses, according to Aon Benfield Impact Forecasting global catastrophe report.

The report reviews the natural disaster across the world and found a number of major earthquakes above magnitude 6 took place in April.

US Geographical Survey-registered magnitude-6.6 earthquake struck China’s Sichuan Province, killing at least 196 people and injuring 13,484 others, the report confirmed.

The hardest-affected areas were in Lushan, Baoxing and Tianquan counties, where almost 620,000 homes, schools, businesses and other structures were damaged or destroyed.

Most of the damage occurred to older poorly constructed buildings with unreinforced masonry and/or stone. An unofficial media report cited local government officials who estimated economic losses at CNY169bn (USD27billion). If this figure is verified, insured losses may approach CNY1.5bn, given local insurance penetration of about 1%.

Two strong earthquakes rattled Iran in April, including a magnitude-6.3 earthquake that struck southern Iran. At least 41 people were killed and 1,100 others were injured across 92 villages, the report said.

Additional earthquake events were recorded in Japan, Afghanistan and Hungary.

Impact Forecasting president Steve Jakubowski said: “The earthquake events in China and Iran during the month of April highlight the importance of catastrophe modeling. Impact Forecasting has developed a suite of earthquake models for countries around the world that are proficient at quantifying and qualifying insurers’ and reinsurers’ potential regional exposures. While it is virtually impossible to predict where and when the next major earthquake will occur, we are continually learning more about the peril to strengthen our capabilities.”