September 2nd, 2010

Update: Typhoon Kompasu

Posted at 12:21 PM ET

kompasu2-smallTyphoon Kompasu made landfall near the North/South Korean border at around 23:00 UTC on September 1 (07:00 local time on September 2) as a weak category 1 typhoon with maximum sustained winds of around 75 mph (120 kmph), according to reports. In the 24 hours before landfall, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) said Kompasu weakened from a category 3 typhoon to a weak category 1 typhoon. Kompasu came ashore about 40 miles (70 kilometers) west of South Korea’s capital of Seoul (population of around 10 million people), bringing gale-force winds and heavy rain to the city and wider region. Reports said Kompasu was the strongest storm to hit the Seoul area for 15 years.

At least four people were killed by Kompasu’s severe weather and dozens more were injured. Powerful wind gusts toppled power lines, cutting off electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes, the National Emergency Management Agency said. Reports said at least 130,000 homes in the provinces of South Chungcheong and South Jeolla lost power. Power outages were also reported in the city of Gwangju. In Incheon, west of Seoul, officials said Kompasu caused at least 10 billion won (USD8.3 million) in damage to a soccer stadium.

kompasu2-big

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.

Seoul was also badly hit. According to reports, extensive damage has been reported in South Korea’s capital. The Korea Herald said more than 1,300 trees, utility poles and signboards were toppled, causing more than 300,000 households to lose power. Property damage was also reported in Seoul, with around 100 homes sustaining broken windows. Transportation was affected as services on Seoul’s subway and railway lines were suspended and 128 domestic and international flights were cancelled. Almost 150 ferry trips from Mokpo to Jeju island were suspended. Prior to Kompasu making landfall, EQECAT said the storm could cause insured damage of USD1 billion to USD3 billion in South Korea.

In North Korea, strong winds and heavy rain pounded southern regions. Some towns and cities were flooded as rainfall of up to 6 inches (160 millimeters) was recorded. The Korean Central News Agency said 3 inches (80 millimeters) of rainfall was recorded in parts of the capital, Pyongyang, but there was no information on casualties or property losses.

Kompasu weakened after making landfall in Korea and the storm is currently tracking across the Sea of Japan. The JTWC says unfavourable conditions are likely to see Kompasu continue to weaken over the next 24 hours and disintegrate into a depression before reaching Japan.

Sources: Joint Typhoon Warning Center, WSI, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, Associated Press, Agence France Presse, The Korea Herald, Asia Pulse, Yonhap English News

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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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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.

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