Switzerland's largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, has estimated the damage from the storms that hit Europe earlier this week at several billion dollars.This content was published on December 30, 1999 - 17:33
Switzerland's largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, has estimated the damage from the storms that hit Europe earlier this week at several billion dollars.
Swiss Re said the intensity of the gale-force winds and level of destruction made it worthy of the title, Storm of the Century.
Swiss Re said the latest storm combined with natural disasters around the globe earlier in the year have made 1999 the second costliest year on record, amounting to about 70 billion dollars.
More than 50,000 people lost their lives in the hurricanes, tornados, flooding and earthquakes. Only 1992 was more expensive for insurance companies, when Hurricane Andrew swept through the United States.
Meanwhile, life is getting back to normal in the areas in Switzerland worst-hit by the storms.
Electricity has been restored to most households and road and rail links reopened. The improving weather has also allowed the authorities to get a clearer picture of the extent of the destruction. They now say that in canton Berne alone, around 20,000 buildings were damaged.
The storm killed 14 people in Switzerland. The last victim died in a Zurich hospital on Wednesday from head injuries.
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