Perils AG has initially estimated insured property losses for a late flood event affecting northern Queensland, Australia, in January and February at AU $ 957 million ($ 675.9 million).
The loss estimate covers the property line of business only, excluding motor and other lines of business, the Zurich-based catastrophe loss data company said in a statement on Friday.
The Townsville floods were the result of a slowdown moving monsoon system which brought exceptional rainfall to northern Queensland in late January and early February, according to Perils. For the city of Townsville, the accumulated rainfall totals from consecutive days were the highest since records began in 1888.
The resulting surface and river flooding caused devastation in northern northern Queensland and major losses in the city of Townsville, where flooding by the Ross and Bohle rivers resulted in severe damage to thousands of homes, businesses and public infrastructure, the company noted. Flooding in Townsville was further exacerbated by the opening of the spillway gates of the Ross River Dam as the reservoir's capacity exceeded 200%.
Four people drowned in the flood waters and two people died from bacterial infection caused by soil-borne bacteria stirred up by flood waters, according to Perils.
“Given the record-breaking amount of rain which fell over North Queensland from 26 January to 1
An updated estimate of the market loss from the Townsville floods will be made available on April 26, three months after the event start date.