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Harvey knocks out more US refineries

Hurricane sends pump prices up, causes shift in global oil flows

HOUSTON: This aerial photo shows the Flint Hills Resources oil refinery near downtown Houston. — AP

PARIS: Economic losses in Texas from Hurricane Harvey, which is still pounding the water-logged US state with rain, will be some $58 billion (49 billion euros), disaster analysts in Germany said yesterday. If that estimate holds, it would make Harvey the world’s 9th most expensive natural disaster since 1900, according to the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) in Karlsruhe, Germany. It would also push the yearly economic loss from earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, cyclones and other natural cataclysms past $100 billion for the 8th year in a row.

“The damage is extensive at around $58 billion, and is over 90 percent due to flooding,” said James Daniell, senior risk engineer at CEDIM, and head of its Forensic Disaster Analysis Group. The estimate carries uncertainty range from $41 billion to $80 billion. “Depending on the next couple of days, we may see this estimate rise, as it only includes Texas at this point,” he told AFP.

The total “flooded exposure”-the value of all the capital stock inundated by water, whether five centimetres or five metres-in the affected area was estimated at $267 billion. Other calculations of total economic loss have been considerably lower. German insurance giant Hannover Re’s initial figure for damages was $3 billion, while JP Morgan estimated the insurance sector could be out $10-20 billion. Disaster risk specialists Enki Holdings, based in Savannah, Georgia, put the total tab at above $30 billion. — AFP

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