Insured losses in Bermuda from Hurricane Gonzalo will range between $200 million and $400 million, according to AIR Worldwide.
The catastrophe modelling firm said that the storm had weakened prior to landfall and that by the time the centre had passed over Bermuda, Gonzalo had weakened to a Category 2 hurricane.
“On Friday October 17, at 8:30 PM Atlantic Standard Time, the very centre of Gonzalo made landfall on the south-central coast of Bermuda. Gonzalo’s very large, 30-mile radius eye engulfed Bermuda; webcams on the island recorded an eerie calm for about 90 minutes before strong winds, coming this time from the opposite (westerly) direction, moved in once again,” said Scott Stransky, manager and principal scientist at AIR Worldwide.
“When the eye began to come onshore, the storm was still a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph sustained winds. However, by the time the center passed overhead, Gonzalo had weakened to a Category 2 hurricane, with 110 mph sustained winds.”
“The strongest observed winds at Bermuda International Airport were 93 mph sustained, with gusts of 113 mph. The storm weakened prior to landfall due to both lower sea surface temperatures and higher wind shear in the vicinity of Bermuda. Note that the center of Tropical Storm Fay passed directly over the island less than a week ago. It is likely that Fay’s passage reduced the sea surface temperatures around Bermuda, allowing Gonzalo to be just slightly weaker than it might have been otherwise.”
AIR conducted a damage survey across Bermuda on October 19-20 and found that, in the areas surveyed, damage was mostly limited to roofs but structural damage was seen on older buildings, including some historical ones.
In 2003, Hurricane Fabian tracked just west of the island, with winds slightly higher than those from Gonzalo, causing losses of about $300 million (2003 USD values). AIR estimates that a recurrence of Fabian today—with today’s exposures—would result in insured losses of around $650 million.
To continue reading, you need a subscription to Intelligent Insurer. Start a subscription today for £655.
In-house feature articles, the archive and expert comment require a paid subscription. Subscribe now.
Want to give it a try? We are offering a two week free trial to the Intelligent Insurer website – register and select “Two Week Free Trial” to begin access to the full Intelligent Insurer archive and read the latest news, features and expert comment. Begin your free trial here.
Is your 2 week free trial about to end? Upgrade to a 12 month subscription for £655 now.
If you have already subscribed please login.
If you have any technical issues please contact support.
Hurricane Gonzalo, Bermuda, AIR, Scott Stransky