Willis Re unveils Japan tsunami model

Willis Re unveils Japan tsunami model

Willis Re has launched a new catastrophe model designed solely to understand and predict tsunamis in Japan.

The Japan Tsunami Model, developed in-house alongside the Willis research network in conjunction with UCL and Tohoku University,is the first tsunami model with probabilistic and deterministic modelling functions to be created by a broker, said Willis Re.

The broker said that the new model combines tsunami loss information with earthquake shaking damage output.

Willis Re said that it hoped that by analysing these two factors, the model would give better access to intelligence, which in turn would allow it and its clients to better quantify and manage the risks from tsunamis, where historical losses have been little understood.

The Asian Tsunami of 2004 and the Tokohu earthquake and tsunami of 2011, causing economic damage of roughly $15bn and $300bn respectively, remain a reminder of the devastating effects of tsunamis and the damage that the phenomenon can cause.

Willis Re says that it hopes its new model will promote better understanding of the peril in Japan.

“The tragedies of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and the tsunami that followed the Tokohu earthquake in 2011 plainly illustrated how damaging these catastrophes can be,"said William Thompson, regional director for Willis Re Japan. "They highlighted the need to better understand and quantify the risks from secondary perils.” 

“Japan earthquake risk has been rigorously investigated and modelled but the complexity of modelling tsunami has led to a significant gap in the industry's ability to quantify risk for severe earthquake events.

“The Willis Japan Tsunami Model is another vital step towards closing this gap and providing Willis Re clients with the most comprehensive view of risk.”


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