Europe

Insurer: 2016 saw highest natural disaster losses in 4 years

In this Thursday Dec. 29, 2016 photo, a man pets a dog along a flooded street caused by rains from Typhoon Nock-Ten in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines. The powerful typhoon slammed into the eastern Philippines on Christmas Day, spoiling the biggest holiday in Asia's largest Catholic nation, where a governor offered roast pig to entice villagers to abandon family celebrations for emergency shelters. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)

In this Thursday Dec. 29, 2016 photo, a man pets a dog along a flooded street caused by rains from Typhoon Nock-Ten in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines. The powerful typhoon slammed into the eastern Philippines on Christmas Day, spoiling the biggest holiday in Asia's largest Catholic nation, where a governor offered roast pig to entice villagers to abandon family celebrations for emergency shelters. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)  (The Associated Press)

A leading insurer says that last year saw the highest costs from natural disasters since 2012, with a pair of earthquakes in Japan in April accounting for the heaviest losses.

Munich Re said in an annual survey Wednesday that losses from natural disasters totaled $175 billion last year, some $50 billion of which was covered by insurance.

The earthquakes on Japan's southern Kyushu island caused $31 billion worth of damage, with $6 billion of the costs covered by insurance. Floods in China in June and July caused $20 billion in costs, only $300 million of which was insured.

Hurricane Matthew, which hit the Caribbean and the eastern United States in August, incurred losses totaling $10.2 billion, of which $3.8 billion was covered by insurance.