October 29th, 2009

Typhoon Mirinae

Posted at 8:55 AM ET

small-mirinae Typhoon Mirinae is located approximately 645 miles (1,040 kilometers) east of Manila in the Philippines and is tracking west-southwest, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Mirinae is currently a Category 2 typhoon and is moving at 19 mph (30 kmph) with sustained winds of around 104 mph (167 kmph).

Mirinae is expected to continue to move in a general west-southwest direction over the next 24 hours before making landfall in central Luzon. The JTWC said the storm is likely to maintain its Category 2 status during this time. Although there is significant uncertainty in both the forecast track and intensity of Mirinae, current forecasts indicate the storm is expected to make landfall in the province of Quezon as a Category 2 typhoon late on October 30, 2009 UTC. Mirinae is then forecast to move to the north of Manila as it briskly crosses Luzon, bringing heavy rain to the flood-ravaged city. According to the JTWC forecast, Mirinae is expected to weaken as it moves across northern Luzon. However, the forecast sees Mirinae retaining its typhoon status as it exits the Philippines and moves into the South China Sea on a trajectory that will take it towards Vietnam.

Preparations are being made in the Philippines to evacuate residents from areas in the direct path of Mirinae. Philippine agriculture officials are also taking steps to protect rice farms from the typhoon as the central Luzon region accounts for around 20 percent of total rice production. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Mirinae is likely to bring heavy rain and strong winds to the provinces of Isabela, Aurora, Northern Quezon and Polillo Islands. Officials also warned that the capital of Manila will be affected, potentially exacerbating the woes for more than 1 million people still living in flooded districts after Typhoon Ketsana hit the area in late September. Landslides are also expected in the northern mountain regions, where Typhoon Parma’s heavy rain triggered slides that buried several villages in mud earlier this month.

mirinae

Hazard data illustrated in the CAT-i map was taken from i-aXs®, Guy Carpenter’s web-based risk management platform. i-aXs users can view impacted areas on any map as well as see how their portfolios were affected. Please contact your broker or Instrat® representative for assistance or go to www.i-axs.info for further information.

Mirinae’s threat to the Philippines comes as the country is still reeling from the devastation caused by Ketsana and Parma. Ketsana caused the worst flooding in 40 years in and around Manila, and officials have warned that Mirinae could bring more rain to the area. Parma quickly followed Ketsana and hovered over northern Luzon as a tropical storm for nearly 10 days, unleashing massive flooding and devastating landslides. The NDCC said Ketsana and Parma destroyed or damaged around 212,000 buildings and the cost to infrastructure and agriculture was expected to reach 37.8 billion pesos (USD790 million). According to the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association, insurance claims stemming from Ketsana alone will cost more than 12 billion pesos (USD257 million).

In-depth scientific research into tropical cyclones across the Asia-Pacific region is provided by the Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre, a joint initiative between Guy Carpenter and the City University of Hong Kong. The centre was established in June 2008 to integrate academic and industry research and advance the understanding of climate-related perils and catastrophic risks across the Asia-Pacific region.

Sources: Joint Typhoon Warning Center, WSI, Associated Press, Agence France Presse, Reuters News, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, BusinessWorld, The Philippine Star

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Guy Carpenter’s Instrat® department provides CAT-i reports for major natural catastrophes worldwide. These reports cover catastrophes including worldwide tropical cyclones, earthquakes, major UK and European floods and any other natural event that is likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email CAT.i@guycarp.com if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

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