AIR Estimates Insured Losses from New Zealand Quake at $192 Million

December 27, 2007

Boston-based AIR Worldwide has issued a bulletin indicating that insured losses from a recent strong earthquake in New Zealand “are unlikely to exceed NZD 250 million” [$191.6 million].

The quake struck about 25 miles southwest of the coastal city of Gisborne, New Zealand (est. pop. 32,700 as of June 2006) on Thursday December 20, at 07:55 UTC. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported a magnitude of 6.6 for the event, which hit during peak shopping hours, causing chaos in Gisborne’s central business district.

“Damage to commercial buildings included broken plate glass windows, downed awnings, and collapsed ceilings,” stated BingMing Shen-Tu, project manager at AIR Worldwide. “Inside, shelves toppled over and smashed goods littered the floors of many shops. Numerous store owners have reported contents damage in the tens of thousands of New Zealand dollars (NZD).”

AIR indicated that while “the full extent of the damage is still unknown,” representatives of New Zealand’s insurance industry “expect that insured losses will be significantly less than those incurred after the M6.3 Edgecumbe earthquake that occurred in 1987.”

Source: AIR Worldwide –

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