September 20th, 2010

Update: Typhoon Fanapi

Posted at 10:53 AM ET

fanapi-small-092010Typhoon Fanapi, the 11th named storm of the West Pacific typhoon season, made its first landfall on the east coast of Taiwan on the morning of September 19 local time. According to sources, Fanapi came ashore in Taiwan’s Hualien County as a category three typhoon, packing sustained winds of around 105 mph (169 kmph).

Fanapi has been Taiwan’s most severe storm so far in 2010 and caused damage as it moved across the country, shattering glass, flooding land and injuring over 100 people, according to Taiwan’s National Fire Agency. Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau said that as much as 44 inches (112 centimeters) of rainfall had been dumped on southern parts of the country by early Monday and flood waters were reported to have flooded streets and up to the first floors of buildings. Military vehicles were deployed to help trapped residents in inundated parts of southern Taiwan, including the island’s second largest city of Kaohsiung. Elsewhere, Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Centre said that 10,000 residents were evacuated from remote areas vulnerable to landslides.

fanapi-big-092010

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.

Taiwan’s China Airlines reportedly suspended all international departures from Kaohsiung and all of Taiwan’s domestic rail and air services were halted. Schools and offices remained closed in southern Taiwan on Monday and the Taiwan Power Company issued a statement saying that 170,000 households on the island had lost power as of Sunday morning.

Local media reported that flooding from Fanapi had caused major disruption to a petrochemical complex in southern Taiwan, with production of more than 10 factories stopped. Plants operated by USI Corp. and TSRC Corp. were also closed, according to the National Disaster Centre. Media reports estimated that the economic loss as a result may total TWD 2 billion (USD 63.1 million). Meanwhile the Council of Agriculture estimated the damage to the farming sector at around TWD 260 million (USD 8 million).

Although it was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Taiwan so far this year, Fanapi did not cause the destruction wreaked by Typhoon Morakot, one of the island’s worst natural disasters that left more than 700 people dead or missing.

After moving across Taiwan, Fanapi exited into the South China Sea and made a second landfall on southeast China’s Fujian Province on September 20 at 07:00 local time, according to the Fujian provincial flood control headquarters. According to reports, Fanapi hit the Gulei Township in Fujian’s Zhangpu County, lashing the province’s coastal areas with winds and torrential rains. The Fujian provincial water resources department said that 186,700 people had been evacuated ahead of the storm making landfall. In Fujian, television reports said that a large section of the retaining wall in the coastal city of Quanzhou collapsed, whilst the strong winds uprooted trees and flattened fences.

Fanapi weakened as it tracked into the southern provinces of Fujian and Guangdong early Monday, but was still packing sustained winds of 75 mph (125 kmph). On making landfall, meteorologists reported that Fanapi was moving to the northwest at around 12 mph (20 kmph) dumping torrential rains in its wake. The provincial flood headquarters warned that Fanapi could sweep across Guangdong province, bringing flooding and geological disasters to the region.

As of midday on Monday September 20 there were no reports of deaths or injuries resulting from Fanapi in China.

Sources: WSI, Agence France Presse, Associated Press, BBC News, Xinhua News Agency, Reuters 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.

Instrat also provides RISK-i reports for major technological or man-made events worldwide. These reports cover risks to property, transport and life including explosions, fires, crashes, engineering disasters and terrorist attacks that are likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email RISK.i@guycarp.com if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

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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