NU Online News Service, May 22, 11:38 a.m. EDT

Catastrophe modeler EQECAT says the earthquake in Northern Italy on May 20 will cause about $127 million in insured losses.

According to a report from EQECAT, losses from the magnitude 6.0 quake in the Emilia-Romagna region will primarily come from older, unreinforced brick structures in local mostly rural towns of Finale Emilia, San Felice Sul Panaro and Camposanto.

The estimate is derived from a rough comparison of this earthquake to a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in L’Aquila in 2009, which caused more than $250 million in insured losses, says EQECAT. That quake was in a more populated area in central Italy.

EQECAT says estimated losses are subject to revision as more information becomes available. Though residential buildings have, for the most part, withstood the primary earthquake, structures may have weakened and can become more susceptible to damage from aftershocks.

Mehrdad Mahdyiar, senior director of earthquake research for catastrophe modeler AIR Worldwide has said insured losses “will not be significant given the low residential take-up rates and the relatively rural nature of the epicentral region.”

According to earlier reports, damage to commercial properties will likely drive insured losses. Several warehouse and factories were damaged. Historical buildings, such as a 14th century clock tower and several churches, were also destroyed.