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Suncorp warns about insurance disaster pools, argues in FIS submission that mitigation is better

imagesRNQLNKNYSUNCORP’S insurance arm has sought to quash any national disaster insurance pool, while complaining excessive regulation has slugged them for at least $20 million. The comments were contained in a submission from Suncorp’s insurance arm to the Financial System Inquiry. Disaster insurance or reinsurance pools are used to help subsidise premiums for risky spots — examples exist in New Zealand for earthquakes or US for floods. It can help when premiums become unaffordable…


The biggest tsunami recorded was 1,720 feet tall and chances are good it will happen again

Fifty years ago this week, the Great Alaska Earthquake ravaged the Pacific Northwest, killing more than 100 people. Nine-tenths of those weren’t caused by the earthquake, though, but by a series of tsunamis that pummeled the coast, one of which towered 219 feet (66 meters) high. They come taller than that, though. The 1958 tsunami that ripped through Lituya Bay, a sleepy fjord near the Gulf of Alaska, was eight times bigger. And though its causes make it different from the far-traveling waves that slammed Southeast Asia in 2004 or Japan in 2011, the warming of the atmosphere will make both types become more common…


The Aftermath of Chile’s Earthquake

Late Tuesday night, a tremendous earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile, near the town of Iquique. The magnitude 8.2 quake triggered a localized tsunami that battered the coastline with seven-foot waves. The shallow temblor (12.5 miles below the seabed) also set off dozens of aftershocks — 18 of them above magnitude 5.0 so far, including a magnitude 7.6 aftershock last night. Surprisingly, damage and casualties were very limited. Several fires erupted, smaller structures suffered minimal damage, and six deaths were reported — the victims were either crushed under debris or suffered fatal heart attacks. Today, Chile’s navy cancelled a tsunami alert and its emergency office, Onemi, which had earlier asked residents to evacuate the coastline, said people could return to their homes…


Sandia joins effort to recover from disaster

Michael Berkowitz, managing director for 100 Resilient Cities at the Rockefeller Foundation and the CEO of the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, said, “We’re excited to welcome Sandia National Laboratories as the newest partner to the 100 Resilient Cities platform, and for them to begin offering 100 Resilient Cities network members Sandia’s technical expertise in developing risk assessments, modeling complex systems and finding innovative engineering solutions that can help cities build resilience.”..


Lawmakers Propose Tax Break For Businesses Blighted By Tornadoes

Rebuilding after a natural disaster can be expensive; insurance money only covers so much. A proposal making its way through the General Assembly could help ease that burden on businesses, by providing a property tax break. Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) says this would help stabilize local economies. “They provide jobs, they provide tax base, they provide vital services,” he said. “So, this is a bill to help be proactive in saying, we want you as a small business to continue to operate and serve the communities that you’re in.” Though the storm damage in Koehler’s Peoria district was mainly limited to residential areas, he says protecting business interests now can prevent blight later…


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