Wednesday 15 August 2018

US bill for weather disasters over 2017 hits record high

The year 2017 brought three strong hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought to the United States (AP)
The year 2017 brought three strong hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought to the United States (AP)

America's bill last year for weather disasters has reached a record high of 306 billion dollars (£225 billion) following hurricanes, wildfires, flooding, tornadoes and drought.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) noted that the US suffered 16 billion-dollar disasters last year.

That ties with 2011 for the number of billion-dollar disasters, but the total cost of damages sailed past the previous record of 215 billion dollars in 2005.

The NOAA said Hurricane Harvey cost 125 billion dollars (£92 billion), second only to the cost of 2005's Katrina, while Maria cost 90 billion (£66 billion), ranking third. Irma cost 50 billion (£37 billion).

The weather agency also said that 2017 was the third-hottest year since records began, with an average annual temperature for the US of 12.6C.

Only 2012 and 2016 were warmer in records stretching back to 1895.

Press Association

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