$ 306 Billion Damage from Natural Disasters in the US

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The organisation has kept records of weather-related disasters costing over $1 billion (Rs 6348 crore) since 1980.

The United States set a new record previous year for the total cost of weather and climate change-related disasters that exceeded $1 billion, according to a report released on Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Center for Environmental information.

"During 2017, the US experienced a historic year of weather and climate disasters", according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center.

The billion-dollar disasters in 2017 included a freeze, a drought, a wildfire, two floods, three major hurricanes and eight severe storms.

The total of last year's disaster costs is almost the same as Denmark's gross domestic product, which the World Bank tallied at $306.9 billion in 2016.

Data on some disasters could also still be forthcoming, especially on the damage caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, said Adam Smith, an economist at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

The nation was struck by 16 hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters past year, each with losses exceeding $1 billion.

Hurricane Maria, September: $90 billion, 65 deaths Puerto Rico took the brunt of the Category 4 Maria, which made landfall in the southeast part of the island after whalloping the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix. The previous record was $214.8 billion (Consumer Price Index-adjusted) in 2005, thanks to back-to-back Hurricanes Katrina, Dennis, Rita, and Wilma that battered the U.S.

NOAA said the number of billion-dollar disasters-16-tied with 2011 for the most in a single year.

The previous record was nearly $215 billion in 2005, due in large part to major hurricanes like Katrina and Wilma. For the third consecutive year, every state across the contiguous US and Alaska experienced above-average annual temperatures. The five warmest years on record for the contiguous USA have all occurred since 2006.

The number of meteorological disasters in 2017 was unprecedented. The majority of that figure-$265 billion-can be attributed to Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma.

Today's NOAA report and recent reports from the insurance industry reinforce the fact that climate change is a threat to our health, and also a threat to our economy.

The 2017 US hurricane season was one of the most vicious on record; 2017 produced three of the five costliest hurricanes on record.

Plagued by a chaotic hurricane season, losses from Hurricane Harvey exceeded $125 billion, which ranked second only to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Irma was a $50 billion storm, the fifth most expensive hurricane in USA history. Warmer temperatures were only recorded in 2016 and 2012.

"In the general picture the warming [of the] USA over the long term is related to the larger scale warming we have seen on the global scale", said Deke Arndt, chief of Noaa's monitoring section.

"In the USA, we're seeing more severe droughts, wildfires, crop losses and more frequent coastal storms with deadly impacts", Martin added.

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