Disaster-linked losses in 2018 hit $155 billion

After the fires: Californians start to pick up the pieces of their lives

A little more than a month after a brush fire raced through the Northern California countryside on its way to becoming one of the deadliest and costliest wildfires in U.S. history, people from Paradise, Chico and Magalia, Calif., are coming to grips on their new normal, if you can even call it that.

The grief at having lost homes, jobs, cars—a lifetime of memories for many—is giving way to a determination to move forward and begin a new chapter in their lives. Part of that determination was evident in the reopening of schools in the region last week, allowing children who hadn’t been together since before the fire to see their classmates and teachers, albeit in makeshift schools for Paradise students…


Disaster-linked losses in 2018 hit $155 billion: Swiss Re

8 nov
In this photo taken on November 8, 2018 a home is overshadowed by towering smoke plumes as the Camp fire races through town in Paradise, California

Losses from natural and man-made disasters are estimated to total $155 billion (136 billion euros) this year, down sharply from a hurricane-plagued 2017, the reinsurance giant Swiss Re said Tuesday.

The trio of hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma last year pushed losses to $350 billion, but Swiss Re noted that a “number of smaller and mid-sized events, alongside some major man-made disasters” in 2018 were still cause for serious concern.

Events this year “highlight the increasing vulnerability of the ever-growing concentration of humans and property values on coastlines and in the urban-wildlife interface.”

Overall, the figures served as a reminder that “extreme weather conditions can quickly turn into catastrophe,” the company said.

Among the major events causing damage this year were hurricanes Michael and Florence, a series of typhoons in Asia and the recent California wildfires….


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