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AIR Worldwide Estimates Industry Insured Losses For Typhoon Jebi Up To $4.5 Bln

Catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide, a Verisk (VRSK) business, estimates that industry insured losses from Typhoo Jebi, which made landfall in Japan on September 4, will be between JPY 257 billion or $2.3 billion and JPY 502 billion or $4.5 billion.

Typhoon Jebi, which struck Japan midday on September 4 on the island of Shikoku at the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane, was the strongest typhoon to make landfall in Japan in 25 years, with 1-minute sustained wind speeds of 180 km/h (112 mph). It rapidly made a second landfall on the main island of Honshu striking the major urban centers of Kobe and Osaka with winds which, flipped vehicles, ripped cladding off buildings, and downed trees and power lines.

Four days before landfall, Jebi explosively intensified to become a super typhoon with wind gusts of over 190 mph, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. As it headed north toward Japan, Jebi encountered wind shear and cooler water, which caused it to lose some strength but it was still an intense and potentially dangerous storm as it approached Japan. The ground was still saturated from previous storms as Jebi drew close, prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) to issue warnings for potential flash floods and landslides.

Storm surge inundated parts of Osaka Prefecture, with a potentially record-breaking storm tide reported in that area and intense rainfall accompanied the storm, with a recorded rate of 100 mm (3.9 inches) of rain in an hour at the tourist city of Kyoto, and more than 500 millimeters (nearly 20 inches) of rain total was measured in some areas. The storm maintained its typhoon strength over the Sea of Japan as it tracked north along the coast, only weakening to tropical storm intensity early Wednesday, local time, as it passed the island of Hokkaido. Wind and torrential precipitation continued to affect the western coast up to Hokkaido overnight.

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