Staff with files from the Canadian Press
Typhoon Lionrock makes landfall in Japan | Canadian Insurance

Typhoon Lionrock makes landfall in Japan

This marks the fourth typhoon to make landfall in Japan in 2016

Typhoon Lionrock made landfall in the Tohoku region of Japan, Tuesday evening, near the city of Ofunato in Iwate Prefecture, catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide reports.

This typhoon, which has the intensity of a Category 1 hurricane, marks the third that has hit Japan in the last two weeks, bringing heavy rain, flooding and landslides.

At least 11 people have been killed.

“Typhoon Lionrock, which came ashore about 500 kilometers (310 miles) northeast of Tokyo, was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved inland,” Anna Trevino, a senior scientist at AIR Worldwide, said in a release. “Lionrock should cross the Sea of Japan by the end of the week and bring heavy rain to Russian maritime territory and northeastern China.”

Read: Insurance tally for natural catastrophes hits US$28B in first half of 2016: Swiss Re

According to AIR, Japan’s residences tend to have wood construction, while non-wood residences consist of steel and concrete. Of those, modern wood construction best resists typhoon damage, though roof coverings and windows can be broken and cause considerable contents damage.

Even with modern flood-control structures, the risk of flood damage is high in Japan, especially for low-rise buildings. AIR says that while wind damage is covered under typical fire insurance policies, flood damage is not.

“Lionrock is expected to cause much greater damage from the inundating rain than wind,” Trevino said. “By Tuesday evening, The [Japan Meteorological Agency] had reported that 15 centimeters of rain had fallen in the region, and some areas across Honshu were projected to receive as much as 8 centimeters of precipitation per hour. Some areas of the Tohoku region were projected to receive as much as 35 centimeters of rain by Wednesday morning, more than they normally would see in a month.”

Read: 67% of flood damage is insured in U.S., 2% in China