Now the sad news. Typhoon Morakot caused a great amount of damage in Taiwan, and still unknown numbers of dead. There are many news videos of builings and one hotel losing their foundations to the flood water and collaapsing into the flow. One whole village was buried under a landslide and about 100 are feared dead there.
That story reminded me of the one last year from Seshuan, where three villages were swallowed up whole. A worker left his job in Shenzhen to check on his village and his family. There was nothing to find but a mound of dirt and rock.
The economics of natural disaster has always seemed pretty simple to me, but many make the mistake of thinking this kind of thing is good for an economy, like wars, because it creates jobs, and might even improve income for a time.
Good for the economy means good for the welfare of society. Income and employment statistics are not the end-all of your welfare, nor your economy.