CoreLogic® estimated insurable wind and flood losses to be less than $1 billion
Typhoon Koinu (Typhoon Jenny in the Philippines) made landfall over southern Taiwan on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 8:20 a.m. local time (12:20 a.m. UTC). The most extreme wind speeds of the storm’s eyewall passed over Cape Eluanbi on the southern tip of Taiwan. Maximum sustained wind speeds were approximately 135 mph (217 km/h), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), making Typhoon Koinu equivalent to a Category 4 storm at landfall.
A historic wind gust of 213 mph (342 km/h) swept over Orchid Island, nearly 50 miles east of southern Taiwan.
The typhoon weakened substantially after leaving Taiwan. By early afternoon, the storm degraded to a Category 2-equivalent storm. The system is forecasted to continue west toward Hong Kong, but it is expected to weaken further prior to another landfall (Figure 1).
CoreLogic® estimates insurable wind and flood losses in Taiwan are likely to be less than $1 billion. These losses include damage to existing buildings and contents within the residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial lines of business. The estimation excludes damage to governmental property, crops, livestock, and infrastructure.
Despite the extreme maximum wind speeds, losses are expected to be relatively minimal due to lower concentrations of exposure in southern Taiwan, especially along the east coast. The major population and commercial centers of southern Taiwan, including Kaohsiung City and Tainan City, were spared from severe damage. According to the Central Weather Administration (CWA), maximum gust speeds were just at or below hurricane strength in Kaohsiung City and Tainan City where they were recorded at 68 mph (110 km/h) and 76 mph (122 km/h), respectively.
Heavy rainfall over northern, eastern, and southern Taiwan may cause localized urban flash and riverine flooding (Figure 2). A maximum precipitation depth of 570 mm (19.7 inches) was recorded southeast of Kaohsiung City in Pingtung County from Oct. 4 through Oct. 5 at 8:00 p.m. local time. Heavy rainfall in the more mountainous terrain could lead to landslides.
Recorded precipitation totals over the same time period in the major development areas of Taipei City, Taichung County, Tainan City, and Kaohsiung City were 426.5 mm (16.8 inches), 268.0 mm (10.6 inches), 8.0 mm (less than 1 inch), and 138.5 mm (5.5 inches), respectively. Rapid and intense rainfall over a brief period of time can lead to flash flooding, especially in developed, urban environments.
Initial reports from Taiwan show minor property damage. Examples include downed trees and billboards. Over 310,000 homes were without power. The storm did disrupt commerce in the area, such as flights and commercial fishing operations.
CoreLogic Hazard HQ Command Central™ will continue to watch Typhoon Koinu. More updates will be provided if the system makes another landfall as a typhoon.
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