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Insured losses up to $4bn expected from Japan’s M7.3 quake: Verisk

24th March 2022 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Analysts at Verisk Extreme Event Solutions (formerly AIR Worldwide), have estimated that insured losses to properties from the March 16th M7.3 earthquake that struck offshore from the island of Honshu, Japan, will be between JPY 240 billion (~USD 2 billion) and JPY 490 billion (~USD 4 billion).

Of that figure, between JPY 50 billion (~USD 400 million) and JPY 100 billion (~USD 820 million) can be attributed to commercial and industrial properties, Verisk says.

Early reports suggest that more than 580 buildings in Fukushima Prefecture and more than 570 buildings in Miyagi Prefecture were damaged.

Other impacts from the quake include power and water outages; damage to highways, rail lines, viaducts, and other infrastructure; short-term cancellation of some train service; and significant supply chain and production interruption for the automotive and paper industries.

The March 16th, 2022, earthquake was preceded by an M6.4 foreshock approximately two minutes earlier, and the epicenter of the mainshock was located roughly 100 km from the epicenter of the March 11th, 2011, M9.0 Tohoku earthquake.

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In the past century, 33 earthquakes of M7 or greater have occurred within 250 km of the March 16th earthquake, including 7 earthquakes greater than M7 since the March 2011 M9.0 earthquake.

Verisk’s insured loss estimate for the most recent quake includes insured physical damage to onshore property (residential, commercial/industrial, mutual), both structures and their contents, and from ground shaking, fire-following, and liquefaction.

However, it’s important to note that it also excludes factors including losses to land and infrastructure, losses to automobiles, business interruption, workers’ compensation, losses to civil engineering (railway) risks, marine cargo and marine hull risks, aviation risks, and losses from non-modeled perils, such as landslide.

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