Baja Quake Dominated April Nat Cat Losses

A series of earthquakes occurred in Baja California — including a 7.4 magnitude event near Guadalupe Victoria, Mexico — was the leading cause of insured losses last month, according to Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting unit.

Economists estimate the economic damage to be greater than 12.3 billion pesos ($1 billion) and insured losses more than 3.7 billion pesos ($300million), according to the report. The Mexican town of Mexicali was hardest hit by earthquake which left 25,000 homeless and two people killed.

“The Baja California earthquake was of magnitude 7.2, which makes it a strong quake and one that was felt throughout northwestern Mexico,” said a press statement from Steve Jakubowski, president of Impact Forecasting. “It also impacted southern California, but economic losses, insured losses and loss of life or injury were far lower due to a lower population density and more robust structures. This event is also a reminder that, based on historical activity, California is overdue for a significant earthquake.”

The April 14th quake that struck Qinghai Province killed at least 2,220 people and damaged or destroyed 25,000 structures was one of the leading cause of economic losses in Asia, the report says.

However, severe thunderstorms killed more than 137 people in eastern India and Bangladesh, damaging or destroying in excess of 200,000 homes. Those storms left at least one million people homeless – possibly the greatest number of people ever to be left homeless as a result of thunderstorm, the report states.

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