Japanese quake costs estimated at £189bn

City A.M. Reporter
The Japanese government has stimated the direct damage from a deadly earthquake and tsunami that struck the country's northeast this month at 16-25 trillion yen (£121-£189bn) making it the world's costliest natural disaster.

It said the estimate covered damage to roads, homes, factories and other infrastructure and eclipses the $100bn loss tally after the 1995 Kobe quake, until now the highest.

The figure does not include losses in economic activity from planned power outages or the broader impact of a crisis at a stricken nuclear power plant in Fukushima, where work crews are still struggling to prevent further radiation leaks.

"The impact from the planned power outages is likely to be significant," Fumihira Nishizaki, director of macroeconomic analysis at the Cabinet Office told reporters.

The upper end of the estimate range would amount to about six per cent of Japan's gross domestic product.

"This quake will cause the condition of Japan's economy and output to be severe," Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa told a parliamentary committee.