The 7.0-magnitude earthquake of October 30th, designated as catastrophe by PCS Turkey

10 November 2020 — Daniela GHETU
The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the Aegean Sea between the Turkish coast and the Greek island of Samos, strongly affecting the Izmir region of Turkey has been designated as a catastrophe event by Property Claim Services (PCS), a division of Verisk Analytics, Artemis reported.

The quake was felt across the eastern Greek islands, but also much further, in Athens and Bulgaria. In Turkey, it shook the regions of Aegean and Marmara. Although citizens of Istanbul have also felt the seismic wave, no damages were reported in the city. About 1,700 aftershocks followed, 45 of which of over 4.0 magnitude.

This event was the deadliest quake to hit Turkey in nearly a decade, leaving behind 116 victims and over 1,000 injured, reducing at least 17 high rise buildings to rubble and making other uninhabitable.

PCS will analyze and track data collected from the insurance industry in the region, to derive an industry loss figure that will be reported back to users of its PCS Turkey service. PCS assessment will only consider losses caused by the earthquake in Turkey. The quake is expected to present a reasonable sized catastrophe loss.

PCS Turkey tracks catastrophe losses that threaten more than TRY 30 million (USD 3 million) of insurance market losses, providing a data source for the global reinsurance market and any firms looking to enter into industry loss risk transfer, reinsurance or retrocession arrangements focused on Turkish perils.

Ted Gregory, director of operations, PCS, told Artemis, "This is the fourth PCS Turkey catastrophe designation since we went live with the service in 2016, and it's the first earthquake since then. We're already in the process of working our methodology in collaboration with the Istanbul Underwriting Center and the Turkish insurance industry. Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey, and the recent catastrophe event is its first since a 2012 flood event reported under PCS Turkey. Our goal is to help the local insurance industry during this tragedy, and those affected remain in the PCS team's thoughts."

Tom Johansmeyer, Head of PCS added, "The fact that we've averaged approximately a catastrophe every year since launching PCS Turkey shows how important it is for a loss reporting platform to be active in the country - and to have the right reporting criteria. A lower reporting threshold, coverage for motor physical damage, and inclusion of all natural and manmade perils is crucial for effective loss reporting in Turkey. It's worth remembering that, before the recent tragedy in Izmir, PCS Turkey reported on terror and hail events, neither of which featured in our historical database."

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