Nat cat losses cost China $42 billion in 2023 first nine months

With the impact of Typhoon Koinu ongoing – and sure to add to the full year human and economic cost – the latest figures from the authorities show that China suffered direct economic losses of 308.29 billion yuan ($42 billion) over the first nine months of 2023 as a result of natural catastrophe losses.

The emergency management ministry unveiled its assessment over the weekend.

Officials said 499 people were reported dead and missing in natural disasters during the nine-month period, with more than 89 million affected, while over 2.75 million had to be evacuated and resettled.

Four typhoons during the period caused heavy losses, with the most recent back-to-back events bringing flash flooding and hundreds of landslides in southern areas, while the north and northeast suffered record rain and evacuations.

China’s crops of rice, soy and corn were also severely affected, triggering larger inflation worries at a time when the government is battling to stabilise the economy.

Crops across 9.71 million hectares (24 million acres) were affected in the nine-month period, the government said.

Excessive heat forced a struggle with dramatic weather swings that some experts blamed on climate change.