Hurricane Jova Losses Put At Around $50M

NU Online News Service, Oct. 14, 1:26 p.m. EDT

Losses from Hurricane Jova, which struck the Pacific coast of Mexico this week, are estimated to be less than $52 million, says catastrophe modeler AIR Worldwide in Boston.

The storm struck the Mexico states of Colima and Jalisco as a category 2 storm which weakened quickly, but produced more than two foot of rain in some areas and serious flooding and mudslides, AIR says.

“Jova passed within 15 miles to the east of Puerto Vallarta, a popular resort city with a population of more than 250,000,” says Tim Doggett, principal scientist at AIR in a statement. “Because of its reduced wind speeds by that point (maximum sustained of 65 mph, which put it at tropical storm strength), and the fact that Puerto Vallarta was on the weaker, left side of the storm, the city was spared from significant wind and flood damage.”

Reuters reported that the storm claimed four lives and forced thousands to evacuate. Several towns were cut-off because of flooding.

AIR says wind damage was minimal because many structures are constructed of confined masonry. The take-up rate, or percentage of properties actually insured for residential properties, is very low in the residential areas of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, estimated at around 5 percent.

On the other hand, commercial take-up is estimated at around 70 percent and automobiles at 100 percent.

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