The costliest natural disaster in the world during the first half of 2017 was a multiweek flood event from mid-June into early July across China's Yangtze River basin that left more than 410,000 homes damaged or destroyed, vast swathes of cropland submerged, and damaged infrastructure, according to Impact Forecasting, Aon Beneld's catastrophe model development team.
In its report “Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2017”, the team says that the total economic losses from the event exceeded US$6.4 billion.
The report estimates that global economic losses from natural disasters for 1H2017 stand at $53 billion – 56% lower than the 10-year average of $122 billion.
Meanwhile, global insured losses were preliminarily estimated at $22 billion – 35% lower than the 10-year average of $34 billion.
According to the report, the severe convective storm (SCS) peril was the costliest disaster type on an economic basis (nearly $26 billion) during 1H2017, comprising 48% of the loss total, with the majority of the loss ($23 billion) attributable to events in the US. SCS also caused the majority of insured losses ($17+ billion), comprising 78% of the loss total.
Natural disasters worldwide claimed at least 2,782 lives during 1H 2017, the lowest figure since 1986. Flooding was the deadliest peril during the period, being the cause of at least 1,806 deaths.