Thursday, December 08, 2022

Which were the most destructive and deadliest hurricanes?

Enzo Campatella enzo campatella 5 minutes
Satellite image showing Hurricane Katrina over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico on its way to New Orleans.

Hurricanes are extreme violence and large-scale meteorological phenomena. When classifying them, this is basically done by the intensity of the sustained wind from their surroundings, although other phenomena such as excessive rainfall, and damage caused by sea level rise are other factors associated with their danger.

Now, when trying to define which storm caused the most damage, The answer will depend on the parameters takenas defined live science who tried to get to the bottom of the matter. For example, we can dimension it by economic cost or cost in human life.

If there is an economic loss, Hurricane Katrina will be the winner, The storm occurred in 2005, and in the United States it affected from Florida to Louisiana. It is estimated that in 2022 there was more than $125,000 million in damage. But even so, a hurricane that struck Florida in 1926 could have been even more devastating. It must be said that Katrina killed more than 1,800 people between 23 and 30 August that year and also badly affected Cuba and the Bahamas.,

queen katrina

If that measure is taken by the number of deaths, The deadliest hurricane to hit the Caribbean has been in 1780, and according to data compiled by historians, it may have produced more than 22,000 deaths., a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) and cited by Live Science, attempted to analyze all tropical cyclones, but focused mostly on those after 1900, leaving the rest with data for historians’ work that could hardly contrast can.

To get a better idea of ​​the economic impact of Katrina, if indirect losses are added to the direct losses we mentioned earlier, this number jumps to about $186,000 million in 2022. The United States Congressional Budget Office has forecast annual losses in 2019. due to hurricanes in 2022 at $54,000 million. So that Katrina cost about three and a half times as much, and represented 1% of that country’s GDP.,

The major catastrophe of this storm occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, where sea level rise caused by strong storms broke the city’s defences, ended up underwater and was greatly affected by the impact in both life and economic costs. The loss of Katrina was discovered among the residents of New Orleans who would never stop remembering it.

next on the list

Second on the list closest to the time, Harvey, The storm occurred in 2017, and the main force of its damage resulted from the accumulation of rain, which particularly affected southeast Texas, and directly affected Houston. cost of Its damages were $ 1490,000 million till 2022. These two hurricanes, Katrina and Harvey, have been the two costliest hurricanes globally. It is logical to think that this is so, as the cost of damage is higher in countries with more infrastructure.

New Orleans
The image of the city of New Orleans was completely flooded after the passage of Katrina which destroyed maritime defences.

Third on the list was Maria, who hit Puerto Rico in 2017. (same year as Harvey), and lost $107 billion in 2022 dollars. The sandy that flooded New York and drowned its network undergroundat a cost of $82,000 million. Ida flooded Louisiana in 2021 and also generated several tornadoes at a cost of $79,000 million.

The sixth place on the list is occupied by Hurricane 2017’s Irma (as you’ll see 2017 was a peak year) hit several Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico, caused a total of $59.5 billion in material and infrastructure damages. This analysis calculates Atlantic storms, but other tropical cyclones such as Typhoon Hagibis, cost Japan about $15 billion in damage in 2019.

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