CoreLogic pegs Japan quake insured losses at less than $5bn

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Catastrophe risk modeller CoreLogic’s modelled insured loss estimate for the devastating, shallow magnitude 7.5 earthquake, which hit western Japan on New Year’s Day, includes damage from ground shaking, fires following, tsunamis, and liquefaction.

corelogic-logo-newCoreLogic estimates that insured losses in the country from the quake could be between $1 billion and $5 billion.

The estimated range includes damage to buildings and their contents, business interruption or the costs associated with additional living expenses, and damage to residential, commercial, industrial, and Kyosai structures are included.

The range excludes damage to government property; infrastructure such as road and rail networks; water and electric power systems; and oil and gas pipelines.

“Initial Japanese reports indicate material damage in the smaller towns and cities nearby the Noto Peninsula, such as Wajima and Suzu. The Mayor of Suzu said that over 90% of the 5,000 homes in the city may have been damaged or destroyed. However, the earthquake spared major economic centers like Tokyo, reducing the loss potential from this event,” says CoreLogic.

The firm’s estimate comes soon after fellow catastrophe risk modeller, Karen Clark & Company, said that total insured losses from the earthquake will reach $6.4 billion.

Shortly after 4pm local time on January 1st, 2024, the earthquake occurred at a shallow depth of 6.2 miles (10 km) beneath the Earth’s surface. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage than deeper ones owing to the proximity of the released energy to the Earth’s surface.

As noted by CoreLogic, the west coast of Japan experiences far fewer earthquakes than the major subduction zone in the east.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), since the beginning of the 20th Century, there have been 30 magnitude 6 or greater earthquakes within 155 miles (250 km) of the January 1st, 2024, event, and just three of these were on or near the Noto Peninsula, which is where the recent magnitude 7.5 quake occurred.

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