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Private Market Balks at Philippines Catastrophe Plan
Philippines National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon told a local news outlet that a planned P2-billion ($39 million) insurance scheme for natural disasters sponsored by the state-run Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) “failed bidding” in the private reinsurance market.
Last month, the GSIS announced a plan that would insure government assets such as brides, roads and schools in 25 provinces for PhP1 trillion ($39 billion) against catastrophic risk. Those risks included storm surges, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, and earthquakes, and resulting fire. The plan was structured for a one-year renewal period.
According to the report, the GSIS had allowed interested reinsurers to submit bids until Dec. 11, a one-week extension from the initial Dec. 4 deadline. The contract would have covered a one-year period starting Dec. 19, 2019.
Bushfire Investigation In Australia
Australia’s government will ask a parliamentary committee to investigate the effect land management practices fueling bushfires that currently engulf the country.
Natural Disaster and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud made the request following this year’s bushfire season continues to hit record numbers.
Natural disaster consulting firm Risk Frontiers told the Sydney Morning Herald that additional government resources are not necessarily a solution to the bushfire problem.
"It's been 20 years since aerial fire fighting was brought into the mainstream, what's the next generation of research and innovation in the science and technology of fighting fires? The key challenge facing us now is how to rapidly identify where fires are, and to rapidly move resources to extinguish them quickly."
Christmas Day Earthquake Swarms Target California, British Columbia
At least nine earthquakes hit from Los Angeles to Chico in the north on Christmas Day, reaching up to 3.2 magnitude. According to the U.S. Geological Survey other quakes in the swarm ranged from 2.5 to 3.0 magnitude and stretched the length of the state.
No damage was reported.
The California swarm followed a 6.2 magnitude Christmas Eve earthquake near Vancouver, Canada. A CBC report stated:
The Christmas Day quakes were among about 15 between magnitudes 2 and 3 to hit the area in a sequence that started on Dec. 23.
15 Years Following the Boxing Day Tsunami
Today markets the 15th anniversary of the 9.1-magnitude earthquake off Sumatra island in Indonesia that killed 230,000 people. Several outlets have offered their take regarding whether the governments, the private market or the research community has responded appropriately:
Across Asia-Pacific, better preparedness and early warning are leading to a reduction in disaster-related mortality but at the same time economic losses from disasters continue to grow. Rapid, unplanned urbanization is increasing the number of people and economic assets exposed to storms, typhoons, and in some cases, earthquakes.
Memorials were scheduled in the Indonesian province of Aceh, where entire villages were flattened and more than 125,000 people perished in the giant waves. Since then, the area has been largely rebuilt, with some 25,600 residential, commercial, government and school buildings constructed inside a high-risk zone, that had suffered virtually total devastation in 2004.
Disaster-prone Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands that is home to 260 million people, lies along the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. Thursday’s commemoration came four days after the anniversary of last year’s Sunda Strait tsunami, which followed the eruption and partial collapse of the Anak Krakatau volcano. That tsunami struck coastal regions of Banten on Indonesia’s main island of Java and parts of southern Sumatra island, leaving more than 400 people dead and 14,000 injured.