Events in recent years have reaffirmed the vulnerability of Japan to typhoons and earthquakes, prompting the updates

AIR Worldwide has released updated Earthquake and Typhoon Models for Japan. The past several years has reaffirmed the vulnerability of Japan to typhoons and earthquakes and prompted updates to the cat modelling firm’s Industry Exposure Database, earthquake hazard and both earthquake and typhoon vulnerability including building, contents and business interruption damage.

“Ten years ago the M9.0 megathrust Tohoku earthquake became the most widely instrumented earthquake in history, generating copious ground motion data, damage observations, and detailed insurance claims data,” said Dr. Kazuya Fujimura, vice president and managing director, Verisk.

“The Tohoku earthquake not only informed the view of risk associated with megathrust earthquakes in Japan but also globally, eg, the Hikurangi subduction zone in New Zealand and the Lesser Antilles subduction zone in the Caribbean, where, with limited historical data, the possibility of mega (M9.0 or larger) earthquakes cannot be ruled out.”

Japan’s location in the Pacific Northwest Basin combined with its unique topography puts it at risk from typhoon winds, precipitation, and storm surge. The typhoon model is a fully stochastic, event-based model that shares a catalog with other AIR-modeled countries in the region, including mainland China, Southeast Asia, and South Korea. 

It captures the effects of tropical storm and typhoon winds, precipitation-induced flooding, and storm surge on insured properties in Japan.

“In 2018 and 2019, four powerful typhoons struck Japan, incurring total insured losses of approximately $30 billion from wind and flood damage,” said Dr. Boyko Dodov, vice president of research, AIR Worldwide.

“As is the case after any major storm or severe storm season, we have been analysing and reanalysing a plethora of meteorological data, market exposure and company claims data sets from these and previous historical storms.”