Tropical cyclones cause widespread damage in specific regions as a result of high winds, and flooding. Direct impacts on commercial property and infrastructure can lead to production shortfalls. Further losses can occur if business continuity is lost through disrupted supply of intermediate inputs from, or distribution to, other businesses. Given that producers in modern economies are strongly interconnected, initially localised production shortfalls can ripple through entire supply-chain networks and severely affect the regional and wider national economy. In this paper, we use a comprehensive, highly disaggregated, and recent multi-region input-output framework to analyse the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Debbie. In particular, we show how industries and regions that were not directly affected by storm and flood damage suffered significant job and income losses. Our results indicate that the disaster resulted in the direct loss of about 7,000 full-time equivalent jobs and 2 billion AUD of value added, and an additional indirect loss of 5,000 jobs and 1 billion AUD of value added. We are able to conduct this assessment so rapidly due to the timely data provision and collaborative environment facilitated by the Australian Industrial Ecology Virtual Laboratory (IELab).
Lenzen, M., Malik, A., Kenway, S., Daniels, P., Lam, K. L., & Geschke, A. (2018). Economic damage and spill-overs from a tropical cyclone. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 1–28. https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-440