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Hurricane Fiona is estimated to have caused 660 million Canadian dollars (about 528 million U.S. dollars) in insured damage in Canada, the Insurance Bureau of Canada said on Wednesday.
Fiona is the most costly extreme weather event ever recorded in Atlantic Canada, and the tenth largest in the country in terms of insured damages, the bureau said in a press release, quoting the "record-breaking" initial estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc.
Many affected residents were in high-risk flood areas and floodplains where residential flood insurance coverage was unavailable. As a result, the overwhelming majority of costs for this disaster will be borne by the government, according to the release.
"As we begin to see the extent of damages caused by Hurricane Fiona, it is clear that much more needs to be done to enhance our resilience to extreme weather events and build a culture of preparedness moving forward," said Amanda Dean, Vice-President for Insurance Bureau of Canada's Atlantic region
The long-lived and powerful storm first made landfall in Atlantic Canada on Saturday, Sept. 24. With maximum wind gusts exceeding 100 km/h in Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec, Fiona resulted in the tragic loss of life as well as violent winds, torrential rainfall, large waves, storm surge, downed trees and widespread power outages, the release said.
Insurance claims from severe weather have more than quadrupled across Canada since 2008. The new normal for insured catastrophic damages in the country has reached 2 billion Canadian dollars (about 1.6 billion U.S. dollars) annually.