The direct economic loss caused by Super Typhoon Mangkhut when it lashed Hong Kong in September 2018 is estimated at about HK$4.60bn ($593m), which is about 3.8 times that of Super Typhoon Hato in 2017, according to an academic paper produced for the first time by the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) and Hong Kong Observatory (HKO).
Entitled “Assessment of the damages and direct economic loss in Hong Kong due to Super Typhoon Mangkhut in 2018”, the paper was published by the international journal Tropical Cyclone Research and Review.
The loss estimate was arrived at by analysing the economic loss data reported by various government departments, public utilities and organisations in Hong Kong and the statistics on insurance claims from the HKFI.
Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong in September 2018, necessitating the issuance of the highest tropical cyclone warning signal, No. 10 Hurricane Signal. Mangkhut brought the most serious and widespread destruction to the territory in the recent three decades. A series of post event information search, field visits and damage surveys has been conducted by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) and the findings on the damages and impacts caused by Mangkhut in different parts of the territory are documented in the paper.
According to the available information, at least 458 people were injured during the strike of Mangkhut. There were many incidents of falling objects and building damages, about 500 reports of smashed windows or glass curtain walls, and more than 60,800 reports of fallen trees, both the highest number on record. Electricity supply to over 40,000 households in Hong Kong was interrupted. Supply of fresh water in some places was also affected due to power outages. Hundreds of vessels of various sizes were stranded, sunk or seriously damaged by the powerful waves. Heavy rain, storm surge and high waves caused serious flooding in many coastal and low-lying areas and many coastal structures were substantially damaged, including sewage treatment works, public beaches, and waterfront promenades.