September 27th, 2010

Update: Tropical Storm Matthew

Posted at 8:53 AM ET

Tropical Storm Matthew, the thirteenth named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, hit Central America over the weekend. The storm made its initial landfall in a sparsely populated region near the eastern tip of Honduras and northern Nicaragua at around 18:00 UTC on September 24. Matthew subsequently moved across Honduras before re-emerging in the Caribbean Sea and making its second landfall in Belize on 25 September. Matthew was tropical storm status as it moved across Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize, minimising the winds associated with the system. However, Matthew’s heavy rainfall triggered flash floods and landslides across a region already suffering the consequences of an unusually intense rain season.

Matthew was expected to dump 10 inches (250 millimeters) of rain over parts of Nicaragua and Honduras, with up to 15 inches (380 millimeters) possible in isolated areas. Although some 10,000 people living on Nicaragua’s coast were evacuated from their homes ahead of the storm and parts of Honduras and Nicaragua were placed on alert, no serious damage or injuries have been reported in either country. Further afield, Matthew’s outer rain bands triggered flooding and mudslides in Venezuela. Reports said seven people were killed in Caracas after their homes was flooded. Mudslides were also reported in other northern areas of the country.

matthew-big-092710Hazard 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.

After exiting Honduras, Matthew moved back into the Caribbean Sea and headed towards Belize. The storm came ashore to the south of Belize City on 25 September, bringing heavy rain to the country. Matthew weakened into a tropical depression as it tracked across Belize. The storm continued to lose intensity as it moved into Mexico, where it eventually dissipated. However, Matthew was again to bring heavy rainfall to this region, with up to 20 inches (500 millimeters) forecast to fall in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. Reports said heavy flooding and downed trees were reported in the city of Puerto Barrios in Guatemala. The storm also displaced more than 500 people and blocked roads in northern and eastern areas of the country. In Mexico, the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Oaxaca and Veracruz experienced heavy rainfall as Matthew’s forward movement slowed to a crawl over the region. Civil protection officials in Chiapas said Matthew caused heavy damage across the state, with several mudslides reported. The officials added the worst of the damage was in the town of Yajalon, where around 1,000 families were moved to shelters after some 215 homes were damaged.

Sources: National Hurricane Center, WSI, Associated Press, Reuters News, Agence France Presse

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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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