Which hurricane caused the most damage?

Powerful winds, drenching rain, and massive storm surges make hurricanes not only the most violent storms on the planet but also “the costliest natural disasters in the United States,” researchers reported in the journal in 2019 PNAS (opens in new tab). However, the ranking of the most damaging hurricanes depends on the metric used: usually financial cost or lost lives.

From an economic perspective, Hurricane Katrina of 2005 usually tops the list (although models that account for economic growth put a 1926 Miami storm first). Meanwhile, the deadliest hurricane hit the Caribbean in 1780, killing more than 22,000, Eric Jay Dolin, author of “A Raging Sky: The Five Hundred Year History of American Hurricanes (opens in new tab)(2020, Liveright), said Live Science. (By definition, a “hurricane” is a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific, while other parts of the world call these storms typhoons or cyclones — some of which have been deadlier.)

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