NU Online News Service, June 8, 2:06 p.m. EDT

Two sets of storms in the U.S. and an earthquake and aftershocks in northern Italy top the list of catastrophes around the globe in May, notes a report by Aon Benfield.

Regarding the U.S. storms, Aon Benfield says the first stretch of severe weather occurred early in the month, causing widespread hail and wind damage from the Dakotas to Maryland. Aon Benfields says various insurers have recorded more than 30,000 claims with payouts in excess of $150 million.

The second stretch of storms occurred at the end of the month, causing estimated insured losses of $400 million in Oklahoma alone, Aon Benfield says, citing figures from the Southwestern Insurance Information Service.

The quake and aftershocks in Italy caused “significant damage” in the provinces of Modena, Ferrara, Reggio Emilia, Rovigo and Mantua, Aon Benfield says. More than 100 culturally historic buildings sustained damage, and some economically significant businesses in the region were also affected. Economic losses are estimated at $6.25 billion.

Aon Benfield says it is too early to provide an insured-loss estimate with any degree of confidence, but catastrophe modeler Eqecat says insured losses could be between $375 million and $875 million. Eqecat’s estimate is up dramatically from an initial insured-loss estimate of about $127 million, made before the aftershocks. The revision is due to more losses from the aftershocks and an “updated insight on insured values in the region,” says Eqecat.

Other global events throughout the month include flooding in China, thundershorms in eastern Japan, excessive rainfall in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and wildfires in the U.S., including the largest fire ever recorded in New Mexico.