According to the office of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the cost of Japan’s rebuilding efforts following the earthquake may exceed $300 billion, which would easily make it the world’s most expensive natural disaster on record. (Hurricane Katrina, with an estimated $125 billion, inflicted the previous-record amount of damage.) There is often a big difference between early estimates and final tolls — particularly estimates coming from those who are directly affected — but the World Bank is also expecting the costs to come in around $250 billion.
Rebuilding after the 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami, which ravaged the northeastern coast of the main Japanese island of Honshu, will cost up to $309 billion, Mr. Kan’s office said Wednesday. The World Bank, citing private estimates, said on Monday that the figure could reach $250 billion.
More on the insured loss estimates from the Japanese earthquake can be seen here.