Economic Losses From Major Hazards

Economic losses from major hurricanes are particularly shocking for the small economies of the small independent states of the Caribbean.  Damage to over 80% of houses in an island is not uncommon.  Over the past 3 decades (since 1979), natural hazards have resulted in over 300,000 deaths, over 1M severely damaged or destroyed houses, and over US$40B losses.

If the reported damage from the 2010 Haiti earthquake is excluded, natural hazards in the Caribbean have resulted in over 4,000 deaths, over 700,000 houses severely damaged or destroyed, and over US$30B losses.  A principal reason why so much damage occurred was a lack of knowledge on the part of the persons supervising the construction activities.

The larger Caribbean economies, and colonies who receive assistance from their governing countries, normally rebound faster than the smaller economies of small independent Caribbean states.  Some of the most vulnerable countries are the relatively small independent nations of the eastern Caribbean.  Damage and losses in Caribbean islands from natural hazards over the past three decades is summarised in Annex A.

 Most of the houses that typically sustain the most damage are uninsured and occupied by persons with relatively low incomes.

The anticipated impact of Walbrent College is a legacy of responsible building practices in the Caribbean.  This is to be achieved by training construction supervisors to direct good quality building practises on residential construction sites.  This impact will be measured by the amount of residential building damage that occurs with subsequent natural hazards.

 

ANNEX A – NATURAL HAZARD LOSSES IN THE CARIBBEAN

 

Event Country Estimated Reported Damage
2010 Earthquake

 

Haiti 300,000 dead

105,000 houses destroyed

209,000 houses damaged

US$7.9B losses

2010 Tropical Storm Tomas Barbados 1,000 houses damaged

US$18.5M (2010) losses

2008 Hurricane Hanna Haiti 529 dead

48,000 homeless

2008 Hurricane Gustav Cuba 86,000 houses damaged

$2.14B (2011) losses

2008 Hurricane Gustav Jamaica 15 deaths

 

2008 Hurricane Gustav Haiti 77 dead

2,100 houses destroyed

8,150 houses damaged

7,200 homeless

2008 Hurricane Ike Cuba 320,000 houses damaged/destroyed

$3B (2008) losses

2008 Hurricane Ike Haiti 550 dead

1M homeless

2008 Hurricane Ike Grant Turk (TCI)

South Caicos (TCI)

95% houses damaged

$550M (2008) losses

2007 Hurricane Noel Cuba 21,000 houses damaged

$500M (2007)

2007 Hurricane Noel Haiti 73 deaths

400 houses destroyed

7,500 homeless

2007 Hurricane Noel Dominican Republic 24,500 homes damaged.

6,000 houses destroyed.

65,000 homeless

2007 Hurricane Dean Dominica $162M (2007)

20% GDP losses

2007 Hurricane Dean Guadeloupe $156M (2007)
2007 Hurricane Dean Haiti 14 deaths
2007 Hurricane Dean Jamaica 3 deaths

3,127 houses damaged, 1,500 of them destroyed.

$310M (2007) losses

2007 Hurricane Dean Martinique 3 deaths

$679.7M (2007) losses

2007 Hurricane Dean St Lucia 1 death

$6.4M (2007) losses

2005 Flood Guyana 60% GDP losses
2005 Hurricane Wilma Bahamas 1 death

$100M (2005) losses

2005 Hurricane Wilma Cuba $700M (2005) losses
2005 Hurricane Wilma Haiti 12 deaths

$0.5M (2005) losses

2005 Hurricane Wilma Jamaica 1 death

$93.5M (2005)

2005 Huricane Dennis Cuba $1.69B (2011) losses
2005 Hurricane Emile Grenada 1 dead

16 houses destroyed

>200 damaged

$113M (2005) losses

2004 Hurricane Ivan Cuba $1.4B (2011) losses
2004 Hurricane Ivan Jamaica 8% GDP (US$575M) losses
2004 Hurricane Ivan Grenada 89% houses destroyed

28 killed

212% GDP (US$889) losses

2004 Hurricane Jeanne Dominican Republic 1.7% GDP (US$270M) losses
2003 Hurricane Fabian Bermuda 4 deaths

US$550M losses

2002 Hurricane Lili Cuba 48,000 houses damaged
2002 Hurricane Lili Haiti 1,700 houses damaged

 

2002 Hurricane Lili St Vincent Hundreds of houses damaged

$40M (2002) losses

2002 Hurricane Lili Barbados 600 houses damaged
2002 Hurricane Lili St Lucia 4 killed

Hundreds of houses damaged

$20M (2002) losses

2001 Hurricane Michelle Cuba $2.73B (2011) losses
1999 Hurricane Jose Antigua & Barbuda 1 death

500 houses destroyed

1999 Hurricane Irene Cuba 4 deaths

27,336 houses damaged

730 houses destroyed

1998 Hurricane George Cuba 6 dead

60,475 houses damaged

100,000 homeless

$40M (1998) losses

1998 Hurricane George Dominican Republic 380 dead

>180,000 homeless

$1.2B (1998) losses

1998 Hurricane George Haiti 209 dead

167,332 homeless

1998 Hurricane George Puerto Rico 72,605 houses damaged

28,005 destroyed

$1.9B (1988) losses

1998 Hurricane George St Kitts 5 dead

3,000 homeless

80-85% houses damaged (20-25% destroyed)

$458M (1998) losses

170% GDP losses

1998 Hurricane George Antigua 3 deaths

10-20% houses damaged

3,800 homeless

$160M (1998) losses

1998 Hurricane George St Kitts 40% GDP losses
1996 Hurricane Hortense Puerto Rico (US) 18 deaths

11,463 houses damaged

$155M (1996) losses

1995 Hurricane Marilyn St Thomas (US) 7 deaths

10,000 homeless

80% houses destroyed

$1B (1995) losses

1995 Hurricane Luis

114 MPH gusts

Sint Maarten (Dutch) 7 deaths

60% houses damaged or destroyed

100% GDP losses

$1.8B (1995) losses

1995 Hurricane Luis

202 mph gusts

Saint Martin (French) 2 deaths
1995 Hurricane Luis Dominica 1 death

1,000 homeless

$47M (1995) losses

1995 Hurricane Luis Antigua & Barbuda 3 deaths

>50% houses destroyed

3,200 homeless

65% GDP losses

$350M (1995) losses

1992 Hurricane Andrew Bahamas 3 dead

800 houses destroyed

1,700 homeless

50% houses

$250M (1992) losses

1990 Hurricane Klaus Martinique 7 dead

1,500 homeless

1989 Hurricane Hugo Guadeloupe 4 deaths

10,000 houses destroyed

35,000 homeless

30% buildings destroyed

$880M (1989) losses

1989 Hurricane Hugo Montserrat 10 killed

>90% houses destroyed

>90% population homeless

200% GDP losses

1989 Hurricane Hugo St Croix 2 killed

90% buildings damaged/destroyed

$1B (1989) losses

1989 Hurricane Hugo Puerto Rico 12 deaths

28,000 homeless

>$1B (1989) losses

1989 Hurricane Hugo Antigua 1 killed

30% houses damaged

1989 Hurricane Hugo British Virgin Islands 30% houses damaged

100 homeless

1988 Hurricane Gilbert Jamaica 45 deaths

100,000 houses destroyed

65% GDP $4B (1988) losses

1979 Hurricane David Martinique 500 homeless
1979 Hurricane David Dominican Republic >2,000 deaths

200,000 homeless

$2.8B (2005) losses

1979 Hurricane David Puerto Rico (US) 7 deaths
1979 Hurricane David Dominica 56 deaths

80% houses destroyed

75% population homeless

>100% GDP losses

1970 Hurricane Dorothy Martinique 51 deaths

186 houses

700 homeless

US$192M (2011) losses

 Sources include:

1.  International Disaster Database (http://www.emdat.be/result-country-profile)

 2.  United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (http://websie.eclac.cl/infest/ajax/cepalstat.asp?carpeta=contenidos&idioma=i)

 3.  National Newspapers

 

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