Hawaii wildfire economic damage assessed

Lazy eyes listen


According to Moody’s RMS, the damage from the deadliest wildfire in modern US history, which killed over 100 people and burned countless homes and businesses in Hawaii, might range from $4 billion to $6 billion.

The estimate, according to the global disaster risk modeling and solutions organization, comprises direct and indirect losses from physical asset damage. It does not account for the impact of the fires on Hawaii’s GDP, government spending on disaster response, or the societal cost of the fires.

The estimate covers residential, commercial, industrial, car, and infrastructural assets, as well as property damage, contents, and business interruption.

According to the research, the damages are likely to be concentrated mostly in the historic town of Lahaina, where the fire burnt over 2,100 acres and destroyed about 2,200 houses. According to Moody’s, rebuilding will be pricey since inflation will drive up costs over the extended recovery phase. Insurance is projected to cover around 75% or more of the damage because wildfires are covered by standard policies and Hawaii has a high level of insurance uptake.

“Post-event loss amplification is expected to be high in this event due to the island effect on supply chains, high construction labor costs in general, inflationary impacts during the expected long recovery time, and potential ordinance and law requirements,” according to Rajkiran Vojjala, vice-president of modeling at Moody’s RMS.

The wildfires in Hawaii were the deadliest in the United States in more than a century. According to Maui County officials, the death toll has risen to at least 115 individuals, with 1,100 still missing as of Tuesday.