Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could cost $290bn: forecaster

File: Hurricane Irma is driving toward Florida passing the eastern end of Cuba as Hurricane Katia (L) is also seen in this NASA GOES satellite image. Photo: Courtesy NASA / Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON – The combined economic cost of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could reach $290 billion (R3,700-billion), equivalent to 1.5 percent of the US gross domestic product, US forecaster AccuWeather said in a report Sunday.

"We believe the damage estimate from Irma to be about $100-billion, among the costliest hurricanes of all time," said the firm's CEO and founder Joel Myers.

READ: Irma leaves devastation in its wake 

Harvey, which battered Texas and parts of Louisiana in late August, will be "the costliest weather disaster in US history at $190-billion or one full percentage point of GDP" which stands at $19 trillion.

The report said it arrived at the figure by calculating disruptions to business, increased unemployment rates for significant periods of time, damage to transport and infrastructure, crop loss including a 25 percent drop of orange crop, increased costs of fuels including gasoline, heating oil and jet fuel, household damages and loss of valuable documentation.

Only a fraction of the losses would be covered by insurance, said Myers.

READ: Hurricane Harvey makes landfall in Texas

Irma struck the Florida Keys archipelago earlier Sunday and is now bearing north, bearing down on the city of Tampa on the west coast of the Florida peninsula.

Harvey made landfall in Texas in late August, causing severe damage to property and paralyzing the country's fourth-largest city, Houston, with major flooding.

AFP

Discussion Policy

eNCA.com would like to send you push notifications.
Notifications can be turned off any time in your browser settings.
You have been registered for browser notifications