New Zealand earthquake losses could reach $12 billion or more, because of the huge impact from indirect losses.
Indirect economic losses, however, could double or even triple those totals, especially in the next few months. That's because earthquakes tend to have a bigger impact on infrastructure, such as roads and water, than other large-scale natural disasters, such as hurricanes. As of Friday morning local time, for example, 32 streets and 13 bridges were closed to traffic, according to Christchurch City Council.
That's a blow to businesses trying to move products in and out of the area.
"They have to reroute to find a second-best transportation network," says JiYoung Park, a professor of urban and regional planning at the Universtiy of Buffalo's school of architecture and planning. "The transportation costs will be increased."