Top Disasters of 2011 - Slideshow

An April tornado that struck Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Robert Ray) An April tornado that struck Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)

This year has been an active one for natural disasters, with the Insurance Information Institute noting that global 2011 first-half insured losses stand at $55 billion—more than double the amount for the 2010 first half. U.S. insurers have reported continuing weather-related losses into the third quarter from events such as Hurricane Irene and wildfires that continue to burn in Texas.  

Following is a list of 2011 disasters that, in addition to deaths and economic losses, have caused notable insured losses.

Click "next" for the slideshow

(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Typhoon Nesat - Sept. 28-29 (Philippines, Hong Kong, China)

Too early for loss estimates

At least 39 people killed in the Philippines

Typhoon Roke - Sept. 21 (Honshu, Japan)

Estimated Insured Losses: Up to $600 million

Typhoon Talas - Sept. 8 (Shikoku Island, Japan)

Estimated Insured Losses: Up to $600 million

More than 50 people killed

(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

(AP Photo/Erich Schlegel)

Texas Wildfires

Wildfire season began Nov. 15, 2010 and is ongoing.

Texas is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, with little relief in sight. Wildfire conditions, which have plagued the state for almost a year, are expected to continue through fall—and possibly into winter.

Losses from the Bastrop fire alone are thought to be around $250 million, making it the costliest fire in Texas history. The fire has resulted in about 1,500 claims.

Estimated Insured Losses: $500 million

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Hurricane Irene

August 27-28

The storm made landfall on Aug. 27 in North Carolina and on Aug. 28 in Little Egg Inlet, N.J. and Coney Island, N.Y. as a Category 1 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. Irene then weakened to a tropical storm and made its way through the Northeast. Much of the damage caused by Irene is the result of more than a foot of rain to some parts of the East Coast.

Estimated Insured Losses: $1.5 billion-$6.6 billion

(AP Photo/Courtesy of the Kinnelon Police Department)

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

U.S. Tornadoes

May 20-25

Tornado outbreaks affected Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota and Kansas—including the devastating EF5 twister that leveled Joplin, Mo. on May 22.

Insured Losses: $4.9 billion

Economic Losses: $7 billion

The EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo. killed 159 people

(AP Photo/Mike Gullett, File)

(AP Photo/Robert Ray)

U.S. Tornadoes

April 22-28

More than 330 tornadoes struck five Southern states—including one
that razed the town of Tuscaloosa, Ala. Also severely hit were
towns in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Georgia and Tennessee.

Insured Losses: $5.05 billion

Economic Losses: $7.5 billion

More than 350 people killed

(AP Photo/Dave Martin) 

(AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun)

Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

March 11

A Magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Tohoku—the strongest ever registered in Japan and the costliest natural catastrophe on record.
The quake caused a massive tsunami that was more than 25 meters deep (82 feet) and extended inland about 10 kilometers (nearly 6.25 miles).

Insured Losses: $30 billion

Economic Losses: $210 billion

15,500 people killed

(AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Yasushi Nagao)

(AP Photo/Sarah Ivey)

New Zealand Earthquake

Feb. 22

A Magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand

Insured Losses: $10 billion

Economic Losses: $20 billion

181 people killed

(AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Mark Mitchell)

(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Cyclone Yasi

Feb. 2

Struck Queensland, Australia as a Category 5

Insured Losses: $1 billion

(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

(AP Photo/Jono Searle, Pool)

Australian Flooding

Dec. 2010-January 2011

A number of extreme weather-related natural catastrophes hit Australia in the first half of 2011. Flooding in Queensland followed the heaviest rainfall for decades. For the first time in state history, all three major rivers flooded simultaneously. Altogether, hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were flooded and large open-pit mines had to be temporarily closed.

Insured Losses: $2.55 billion

Economic Losses: $7.3 billion

35 people killed

 (AP Photo/AuBC via Associated Press Television News)

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