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With US$3.25b losses, Tianjin explosions costliest man-made disaster in Asia: study

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The Tianjin explosions are set to be the costliest man-made disaster in Asia's history, with the US$3.25 billion losses amounting to almost half the year's total losses globally, said a report by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty on Wednesday.

THE Tianjin explosions are set to be the costliest man-made disaster in Asia's history, with the US$3.25 billion losses amounting to almost half the year's total losses globally, said a report by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty on Wednesday.

"The Tianjin explosions are also set to be the costliest man-made disaster in Asia's history and 2015 marks the third consecutive year that the world's largest man-made losses have come from Asia," the report said.

In 2013, a fire and explosion at a semi-conductor plant in China was estimated to cost insurers US$1 billion, while a major fire and explosion at an oil refinery in Siberia last year was reported to have cost insurers more than US$800 million.

The insurer noted that the rise of large losses in Asia is of particular concern, as manufacturing and outsourced services have moved to China, India and other markets in South-east Asia. Given the global supply chain, and "lean production processes", such interruptions in Asia can threaten global operations, Allianz said.

"There is an increasing concentration of production sites and logistics hubs in exposed areas. If such clusters are hit by natural catastrophes, or by fire or explosions - as happened at the Tianjin port in China - disruptive effects can quickly multiply resulting in contingent business interruption losses around the globe," the report noted.