Insured damages in the Caribbean and Bahamas from Hurricane Irene could hit $1.1 billion, a US insurance estimator said Friday.
AIR Worldwide put likely insured damages in a range of $500 million to $1.1 billion, with more than 60 per cent of that in the Bahamas, pummeled by the deadly storm on Wednesday and Thursday.
“This estimate includes wind and precipitation-induced flood damage to insured onshore residential, commercial and industrial properties (and their contents), automobiles, and business interruption losses in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and other Caribbean territories,” AIR said in a statement.
It said Irene, with winds hitting 130 miles per hour (210 kilometers per hour), had left significant damage behind in the northwestern Bahamas islands of Abaco, Cat and Eleuthera before heading on a course for the US coastline.
“There are reports of downed trees and significant roof damage throughout the region, but with severe disruptions to telecommunications and power networks, damage reports have been sparse thus far,” it said. The island chain’s major tourist resorts were spared, though. “Fortunately, Irene tracked east of densely populated New Providence Island and Grand Bahama Island, subjecting them to only tropical storm force winds,” said AIR scientist Scott Stransky.
Earlier Irene pushed through the eastern Caribbean, leaving five people dead in Haiti, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.
Washington, Aug 26, 2011 (AFP)