Windstorms Isha and Jocelyn to cause hundreds of millions of EUR in losses across Europe: Aon

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Despite the storms’ impacts being labeled as moderate compared to initial projections, the economic losses from Windstorms Isha and Jocelyn are anticipated to climb into the hundreds of millions of euros, according to Aon’s latest weekly cat report released on January 26, 2024.

Following substantial wind-related losses caused by earlier storms Ciarán and Zoltan, this latest catastrophe marks another significant event for European insurers in what has proven to be a relatively active season.

In a harrowing week for Europe, Windstorms Isha and Jocelyn wreaked havoc across Western, Northern, and Central Europe from January 21 to 24, leaving a trail of destruction and claiming several lives.

The United Kingdom and Ireland bore the brunt of these successive storms, experiencing damaging winds and severe weather conditions.

A renewed cyclonic pattern gripped Europe, unleashing intense winds and localised heavy rainfall associated with consecutive low-pressure systems.

Windstorm Isha, initially named Iris by FU Berlin, struck Western Europe on January 21-22, causing widespread damage, particularly in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The storm’s impact was further compounded by the arrival of Jocelyn, also known as Jitka, on January 23-24, generating intense winds in similar areas previously battered by Isha.

Red wind warnings were issued for north-western Ireland, including counties Galway, Mayo, and Donegal, as well as north-eastern Scotland. Orange wind warnings blanketed nearly the entire UK and parts of the Netherlands.

Despite storm Jocelyn’s lower wind intensities compared to Isha, orange or yellow wind warnings were issued for most of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. National meteorological services in Germany, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, and the Baltics also issued wind warnings.

The storms left a trail of chaos, with over 630,000 customers experiencing power outages, including 400,000 in the UK and over 230,000 in Ireland. Downed trees and significant traffic disruptions were reported in both countries, with more than 150 flights canceled or delayed. Widespread disruptions also affected northwestern France, the Netherlands, Germany, and beyond.

The human cost of the storms was tragically high, with at least four people losing their lives in accidents related to Windstorm Isha – three in Ireland and one in the UK. Windstorm Jocelyn claimed an additional life in the UK, with several others suffering injuries.

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