Alta. floods third most costly natural disaster worldwide in 2013

Houses are surrounded by flood waters in High River, Alta., south of Calgary on June 23, 2013....

Houses are surrounded by flood waters in High River, Alta., south of Calgary on June 23, 2013. (REUTERS/Andy Clark)

Shawn Logan, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:55 PM ET

CALGARY -- The floods that devastated southern Alberta ranked third highest in disaster insurance claims in 2013, according to an international insurer.

A report released this week from Switzerland's Swiss Re Group ranked last June's watery disaster just behind even worse flooding in Europe, with Alberta's economic losses reaching US$4.7 billion as well as $1.9 billion in insured losses.

The combined losses in European and southern Alberta flooding made up about one-third of the cost of all catastrophes in 2013.

"Many regions around the world were hit by floods in 2013. The single largest loss event in North America was extensive flooding in the city of Calgary, Alberta, and surrounding area following six days of torrential rain," the report said.

Flooding in the Calgary area was only a fraction of the damage caused by similar downpours in eastern Europe in May and June of last year.

Four days of heavy rain wreaked havoc across Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, tallying total economic losses of $16.5 billion with insured losses pegged at $4.1 billion.


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