Press Release

BOSTON, Sept. 25, 2018 – Catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide estimates that industry insured losses from Typhoon Mangkhut in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau will be between USD 1 billion and USD 2 billion. AIR Worldwide is a Verisk (Nasdaq:VRSK) business.

After making landfall in the Philippines, Typhoon Mangkhut doused a relatively less densely populated agricultural area of Luzon with 300 mm (12 inches) of rain—with some regions receiving 700 mm (27 inches) of rain—as it trekked across the northern tip of the island, weakening as it interacted with land. By the time it had crossed Luzon into the South China Sea later that day, September 15, Mangkhut had weakened to the intensity of a Category 3 storm.

“The storm continued northwestward across the South China Sea over Sunday, September 16, with wind speeds of about 160 km/h (100 mph),” said Dr. Peter Sousounis, vice president and director of meteorology, AIR Worldwide. “As it moved toward landfall in mainland China, Mangkhut bypassed Hong Kong and Macau. The center of the typhoon passed 130 km west of Hong Kong and 70 km west of Macau, both of which felts its effects due to a massive wind field; hurricane-force winds extended 160 km from its center and tropical storm force winds extended 510 km from its center. Storm surge was as high as 3.38 meters in Tai Po Kau, Hong Kong.”

Mangkhut maintained its wind speed and made landfall in Taishan, Guangdong Province, China, at around 08:00 UTC (4 p.m. local time) on September 16 as a Category 3 hurricane, bringing heavy rain and strong wind to the province before weakening to a tropical storm and moving farther inland.

Record-breaking storm surges were recorded at Quarry Bay and at Tai Po Kau of 2.35 meters and 3.38 meters, respectively, surpassing the previous records of 1.77 meters in Quarry Bay from Typhoon Wanda in 1962 and 3.23 meters at Tai Po Kau from Typhoon Hope in 1979. Heavy precipitation brought waist-high flooding to some areas, inundating buildings.

Glass windows on commercial skyscrapers in Hong Kong were shattered and contents were damaged; authorities said hundreds of windows were smashed across the city. The storm tore off roofs, downed trees, toppled signs, and produced wind-borne debris.

In the resort city of Macau, the largest gambling hub in the world, all casinos were ordered to close for the first time ever. Power was cut to about 20,000 households in low-lying areas and the inner harbor. Extensive flooding impacted the area, rising above head height in some locations and damaging buildings and contents.

Along the coast of southern China, strong winds caused high rises to sway and blew out windows. Heavy precipitation and storm surge flooded coastal hotels and businesses; thousands of vehicles also suffered flood damage.

AIR’s modeled insured loss estimates include:
• Insured wind and precipitation-induced flood damage to property (residential, commercial, industrial, and Construction All Risks/Erection All Risks) for mainland China
• Insured wind, storm surge, and precipitation-induced flood damage to property (residential, commercial, and agricultural, including business interruption) for Hong Kong
• Insured wind and precipitation-induced flood damage to property (residential, commercial, and agricultural, including business interruption) for Macau
• Insured damage to automobiles for Hong Kong and Macau
• AIR’s assumed take-up rates—that is, the percentage of properties that are actually covered against wind and flood damage

AIR’s modeled insured loss estimates do not include:
• Losses to uninsured properties
• Losses in Guam, the Philippines, or any other territory outside of mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau
• Landslide
• Losses to land
• Losses to infrastructure
• Losses to crops, livestock, aquaculture, and poultry
• Losses resulting from physical failure of flood defenses and landslides
• Losses from storm surge in Macau and mainland China
• Losses to automobiles and losses from business interruption in mainland China
• Losses from hazardous waste cleanup, vandalism, or civil commotion, whether directly or indirectly caused by the event
• Demand surge
• Other non-modeled losses

About AIR Worldwide

AIR Worldwide (AIR) provides risk modeling solutions that make individuals, businesses, and society more resilient to extreme events. In 1987, AIR Worldwide founded the catastrophe modeling industry and today models the risk from natural catastrophes, terrorism, pandemics, casualty catastrophes, and cyber incidents. Insurance, reinsurance, financial, corporate, and government clients rely on AIR’s advanced science, software, and consulting services for catastrophe risk management, insurance-linked securities, longevity modeling, site-specific engineering analyses, and agricultural risk management. AIR Worldwide, a Verisk (Nasdaq:VRSK) business, is headquartered in Boston, with additional offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit



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