Japan bracing for Cat 1 typhoon Cimaron impacts

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Japan is currently expecting a landfalling category 1 typhoon Cimaron to come ashore in eastern Shikoku over the next few hours, bringing sustained winds of just over 90 mph, higher gusts and an expectation of torrential rainfall and a flood threat along the storm’s path.

Typhoon Cimaron had been a category 2 storm yesterday but weakened to maximum sustained winds of 80 knots or 92 mph, making it a Cat 1 in the early hours of this morning.

The expectation is for damaging winds, torrential rainfall and flooding along typhoon Cimaron’s path, which given the extreme weather seen in Japan over recent months will be an unwelcome addition to the toll for local primary insurance companies and perhaps their reinsurance providers as well.

Typhoon Cimaron is forecast to make landfall in Shikoku later today, likely still at Cat 1 strength although some further weakening is anticipated.

Typhoon Cimaron forecast path and track

Typhoon Cimaron forecast path and track

The main impacts will be felt in Shikoku and southern Honshu, with some rainfall impacts perhaps felt in the cities of Hiroshima, Osaka and even Kyoto.

Power outages are expected, given the winds are expected to remain at hurricane strength to landfall.

Rainfall totals of as much as 500 millimeters are forecast for the Shikoku and Kinki regions over the 24 hour period around landfall, with 400 millimeters forecast for the Tokai region, 250 millimeters in the Kanto-Koshin region and as much as 200 millimeters in the Chugoku region.

Given typhoon Soulik has driven rainfall into some of those regions in just the last few days, the rainfall totals forecast for Chugoku and Tokai regions could exceed 1,000mm from the two typhoons it is expected.

Rainfall at these levels is likely to cause flooding and landslides, with damage to property possible and therefore potential exposure for insurance and reinsurance interests.

Storm surges are also forecast, with heights of up to 2 metres being the maximum forecast for Hyogo, Okayama, Osaka and Kagawa prefectures, hence coastal flooding is also a risk.

Cities such as Hiroshima and the surrounding region were heavily hit by the extreme July rainfall, which has driven losses to some insurance and reinsurance interests, and evacuation orders have been put in place for some communities given the threat of renewed floods and landslides.

Some railway services have been suspended and airports in the threatened region have cancelled flights as well. A number of factories have also closed in advance of the approaching typhoon Cimaron, which could result in some business interruption insurance claims.

Overall though, typhoon Cimaron being weakened to Category 1 is unlikely to drive particularly extensive losses into reinsurance markets, so ILS market interests will likely remain untouched or only exposed to very small claims.

Following the landfall Cimaron is expected to make an extratropical transition, with threats falling as a result except for the rainfall that is likely to continue along the storms path across Japan.

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