Tonga insured for damage as cyclone season gets underway

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Cyclone Ian destroys more than 1000 buildings in Ha’apai and about 2000 people were left homeless.

With the cyclone season underway, Tonga is being covered against damage as part of a
US$45 million insurance scheme.

The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company, which was established a year ago, is
providing $US45 cover for Tonga, the Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands, Samoa and
Vanuatu.

The company, which is owned by the Pacific Island countries, was established with the
assistance of the World Bank.

During the pilot period of the scheme, in January 2014, Tonga was hit by severe (category
five) Cyclone Ian.

A state of emergency was declared for Vava’u and Ha’apai.

More than 1000 buildings in Ha’apai were destroyed and 2000 people were left homeless.

As a result, a payout of $1.27 million was made to Tonga under the policy on January
27th; an amount equivalent to more than the country’s 2013 contingency budget, and more than half of the reserves of the Tonga National Reserve Fund.

This was the first payout made under the pilot scheme.

The official 2017/18 cyclone season began on November 1 and will end on April 30 next
year.

The Meteorology Department said the kingdom could expect up to two cyclones this season
with a 40-50% chance that at least one could be Severe (Category 3 or above).

The department said all communities should remain alert and prepared during the cyclone
season take cyclone alerts, warnings and advisories seriously when they were issued.

All communities are urged to be vigilant and follow forecast information provided by the
Department.

  • The main points
    With the cyclone season underway, Tonga is being covered against damage as part
    of a US$45 million insurance scheme
  • The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company, which was established a year ago,
    is providing $US45 cover for Tonga, the Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands, Samoa
    and Vanuatu.
  • The official 2017/18 TC Season began on November 1 and will end on 30th April,
    2018.

For more information

$US45 million for Pacific catastrophe insurance
2017–2018 Tropical Cyclone Season Outlook for Tonga
Pacific catastrophe risk insurance pilot programme

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