Severe weather and flash flooding that hit the US in April caused insured losses of $650m, a global catastrophe report has found.
In its latest monthly report, Impact Forecasting - the catastrophe modelling arm of reinsurance firm Aon Benfield - said economic losses could be as much as $1bn following around 70 confirmed tornado 'touch-downs', which occurred across more than 20 states in the US. At least 39 people were killed and 250 injured, reported the firm.
Aon said the most significant damage was attributed to hail, as hailstones the size of softballs struck Denton, a city in the Texas metro region.
Adam Podlaha, head of Impact Forecasting, said: 'The recent outbreaks of tornadoes, large hails and damaging straight-line winds in the United States have emphasised the importance of historical data analysis for insurers and reinsurers when trying to forecast future losses.'
Elsewhere, four separate stretches of severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall affected China. The event killed nine people and damaged over 40,000 homes bumping up estimated economic losses to CNY6.2bn ($1bn).
Meanwhile, cyclone Ita made landfall in Australia's northern Queensland, bringing high winds and heavy rains to mainly rural regions with a low levels of structural exposure. According to Aon, the Insurance Council of Australia reported 680 claims with payouts estimated at AUD8.4m ($7.9m). Total economic losses were estimated at up to AUD1.1bn ($1bn). At least 23 people were killed and a state of emergency was declared after the rain caused the Matanikau River to burst its banks, affecting more than 50,000 residents.
A powerful magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck off the northern coast of Chile, causing damage and spawning a small tsunami. Seven people were killed and 13,000 homes were damaged. Total economic losses were expected to be less than CLP55bn ($100m).
Additional earthquake events occurred in Nicaragua, Mexico and China.
Torrential rains fell across northern Afghanistan, leading to extensive flash flooding and landslides in 10 provinces. An estimated 2,665 people were killed, including 2,500 in a massive landslide in Badakhshan provinces.
Heavy rains and a melting snowpack led to flooding in parts of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria, killing at least four people.
A large wildfire impacted multiple neighbourhoods in the Chilean city of Valparaiso, killing at least 15 people.