A few stories involving Nature’s Fury currently in the news…Earthquakes & Droughts & Hurricanes & Typhoons, oh my!
“A swarm” of several hundred earthquakes, the strongest measuring a 5.5 magnitude, were centered east of San Diego near California’s border with Mexico on Sunday afternoon but caused little damage, seismologists said.
Sunday’s shaking in Southern California’s Imperial Valley was the most activity recorded there since the 1970s, according to U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Johnson.
“We are having a swarm,” Johnson said. “We expect thousands of events (like this) over several days.”
The insurance industry faces its biggest ever loss in agriculture as the worst drought to hit the US in more than half a century devastates the country’s multibillion-dollar corn and soybean crops, triggering large claims.
…Agricultural economists at the University of Illinois estimate the drought will trigger this year gross indemnities of roughly $30bn, with an underwriting loss of $18bn. Of that, the US government would shoulder around $14bn, while private sector insurers are likely to face a loss of $4bn, they said. Standard & Poor’s, the rating agency, put the losses of the private sector a notch higher at $5bn.
“The US drought is indeed a ‘catastrophic’ event,” Gregory W Locraft, insurance analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York, wrote in a recent note to clients, adding that it “is likely the largest [insurance] crop loss in history.”