Massive hailstorm hits Sydney, ICA declares a catastrophe, Australia

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Multiple severe thunderstorms hit the Australian state of New South Wales, including capital Sydney on December 20, 2018, dropping tennis ball-sized hail and causing huge damage.

Emergency service said it was the worst hailstorm to hit the city since 1999 while the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) declared the event a ‘catastrophe.’ More than 25 000 claims were already made and losses of more than $125 million.

ICA said the full financial impact will be significant. However, the exact amount won’t be known for some days or even several weeks.

The agency said it was the 5th catastrophe declared this year. In March, bushfires in NSW and Victoria resulted in $82.5 million in insured losses. In the same month, Cyclone “Marcus” caused $62 million in claims, with $16.8 million from floods in Queensland. Storm and flood damage around Hobart in May resulted in $99.6 million in insured losses.