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Cat modeler beefs up earthquake, typhoon models

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AIR Worldwide said Monday that it had expanded and enhanced its earthquake and typhoon models for Southeast Asia.

The new earthquake model features the ability to account for the tsunami and liquefaction subperils for Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. The updated typhoon model features a new precipitation-induced flooding module built using high-resolution data and also a probabilistic storm surge module for Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

“Southeast Asia has some of the fastest-growing economies. Located partly on the Ring of Fire, it’s seismically one of the most active regions in the world, with earthquakes of magnitude 8.0 or larger occurring once every eight to 10 years, on average,” Jayanta Guin, executive vice president and chief research officer at AIR Worldwide said in a statement. “On the atmospheric side, more than 25 tropical cyclones typically form each year in the Northwest Pacific. A wealth of data has become available due to the number of catastrophes in this region, and AIR scientists have been conducting extensive research over the past 10 years to better understand these events.”

The model domain has also been expanded to include: Guam, Macau, Saipan, and Vietnam for typhoon risk; and Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, and Malaysia for earthquake risk.

The AIR Typhoon Model for Southeast Asia — part of AIR’s Northwest Pacific Basinwide Typhoon Model — provides a probabilistic approach for determining the likelihood of losses from typhoon winds, precipitation-induced flooding, and storm surge. Loss data from the Southeast Asia insurance market was used to validate model results.

Both the AIR Earthquake Model for Southeast Asia and the AIR Typhoon Model for Southeast Asia incorporate detailed industry exposure databases at 1-km grid resolution, accounting for each country’s unique building practices.

Both models also incorporate findings from studies of local building codes, damage surveys, loss experience data, and structural engineering research. They contain information on the most recent risk counts, replacement values, occupancies, and construction types of insurable structures, including builder’s risk.

AIR Worldwide said that industrial facilities and tall buildings are among the highest-value risks in Southeast Asia and account for a significant portion of insured value in these countries. The AIR models have separate damage functions for industrial facilities and tall buildings.