Tonga – PCRIC Insurance Payout Following Cyclone Gita

In the wake of Cyclone Gita, the government of Tonga received a US$3.5 million payout from the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company (PCRIC) based on its insurance cover against tropical cyclones. Funds were transferred after seven days of the cyclone event, providing the government with rapid-response financing to support disaster-relief efforts and effective service delivery to the affected areas

Tonga is one of five Pacific Island countries that purchased catastrophe risk insurance from PCRIC – a regional catastrophe insurance platform that offers governments insurance cover against climate and seismic hazards, currently tropical cyclones and earthquake/tsunamis. PCRIC policies are, designed to payout within 10 days of a triggered event to provide immediate access to liquidity for disaster response.

Cyclone Gita reached its peak intensity as a Category 4 cyclone before making landfall on Tonga, which caused wide spread damage largely due to destructive wind strength.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the affected communities across the Pacific, said PCRIC Chief Executive, David Traill. “Despite the tragic circumstances, we are proud to have been able to provide rapid funding to the Tongan government seven days after Gita making landfall which will provide immediate support to help meet the needs of local communities.

“Cyclone Gita has reinforced the importance of a coordinated disaster management capability across the Pacific, and PCRIC stands as a critical support in ensuring governments can act quickly following disasters.

“It is clear that the increased level of coverage provided to Pacific Island countries through the establishment and capitalisation of PCRIC by our donor partners has made a positive impact on the support we are able to deliver to the Pacific Island region.

“We would like to acknowledge the generous capital contributions made by the governments of Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America who have made this result possible, and the World Bank for their role in supporting the overall PCRAFI Program.

PCRIC is committed to ongoing efforts to develop new products to increase the financial protection of governments against the impacts of climate change including drought, excess rainfall and other seismic hazards.

About PCRIC

Established in June 2016, PCRIC is a result of region-wide efforts to address climate and disaster risks across 14 Pacific Island Countries (PICs).

Catastrophe risk insurance for PICs began as a pilot in 2013 to 2015 through the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI), which laid the foundation for a regional catastrophe risk pool to offer governments affordable parametric insurance. PCRIC is a captive insurance company owned by the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Foundation (PCRIF), which is directed by participating Pacific Island Countries.

Initial capital funds were provided by the PCRAFI Program Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) with contributions from Germany, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom as part of InsuResilience – the G7 initiative on climate risk insurance.

Flood Summary

Last updated: February 21, 2018
Event
Tropical Cyclone Gita, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand
Date
February 7, 2018
Type
Flash flood, Landslide
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Matautu, Faatoia, Savaii, Afega and Malie (Samoa)
B - Faatoia (Samoa)
C - Savaii (Samoa)
D - Afega (Samoa)
E - Saleapaga (Samoa)
F - Solosolo (Samoa)
G - Pago Pago (American Samoa)
H - Tongatapu (Tonga)
I - ‘Eua (Tonga)
J - Ha’apai (Tonga)
K - Riwaka (New Zealand)
L - Tasman (New Zealand)
M - New Plymouth (New Zealand)
N - Takaka (New Zealand)

Magnitude

River level
Overflowing
Vaisigano River, Apia, Samoa - February 9 to February 11, 2018
Rainfall level
105 mm in 24 hours
Apia / Upolu Island, Samoa - February 10 to February 11, 2018
Ogimet figures
Rainfall level
204 mm in 24 hours
Le Piu Tai, Samoa - February 9 to February 10, 2018
Rainfall level
200.5 mm in 24 hours
Maota Int Airport, Samoa - February 9 to February 10, 2018
Rainfall level
402 mm in 24 hours
Mt Talu, Samoa - February 9 to February 10, 2018
Rainfall level
264 mm in 24 hours
Apia / Upolu Island, Samoa - February 9 to February 10, 2018
Rainfall level
212.5 mm in 24 hours
Le Piu Tai, Samoa - February 8 to February 9, 2018
Rainfall level
314 mm in 24 hours
Mt Talu, Samoa - February 8 to February 9, 2018
Rainfall level
647.5 mm in 24 hours
Le Piu Tai, Samoa - February 7 to February 8, 2018
Rainfall level
262.5 mm in 24 hours
Maota Int Airport, Samoa - February 7 to February 8, 2018
Rainfall level
627.5 mm in 24 hours
Maota Int Airport, Samoa - February 7 to February 8, 2018
Rainfall level
109 mm in 24 hours
Pago Pago, American Samoa - February 8 to February 9, 2018
Rainfall level
68.6 mm in 24 hours
Niuafoʻou, Tonga - February 10 to February 11, 2018
Rainfall level
80.6 mm in 24 hours
Wellington, New Zealand - February 20 to February 21, 2018
Note; Figure for New Zealand from MetService NZ for the duration of the storm, therefore possibly longer period than 24 hours.
Rainfall level
80.6 mm in 24 hours
Kelburn, New Zealand - February 20 to February 21, 2018
Rainfall level
69.2 mm in 24 hours
Christchurch Airport, New Zealand - February 20 to February 21, 2018
Rainfall level
96.6 mm in 24 hours
Le Bons Bay, New Zealand - February 20 to February 21, 2018
Rainfall level
60.2 mm in 24 hours
Dunedin Airport, New Zealand - February 20 to February 21, 2018
Rainfall level
296.5 mm in 24 hours
Hundalee Ranges south of Kaikoura, New Zealand - February 20 to February 21, 2018

Damages

Evacuated
244 people
Samoa - February 9 to February 12, 2018
Roads damaged
30 roads
Samoa - February 9 to February 12, 2018
Estimated figure. Numerous roads suffered flood and landslide damage, according to Samoa Land Transport Authority
Fatalities
1 person
Tonga - February 11 to February 13, 2018
Evacuated
3,900
Tonga - February 11 to February 13, 2018
Buildings destroyed
95 buildings
Tonga - February 11 to February 13, 2018
Much of the damage was a result of strong winds
Evacuated
200 people
Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand - February 20 to February 21, 2018