- 1+ 29- 10
Hurricane Katrina was one of the top five deadliest and most expensive hurricanes in the history of the United States. At least 1,833 people died from the hurricane and the aftermath, and the estimated cost was at $81 billion (2005 USD). The hurricane began as a Category 1 hurricane in August 2005 when it hit the Bahamas and Florida, but strengthened to a Category 5 in the Gulf of Mexico before landing in Louisiana as a Category 3. 80% of New Orleans was completely flooded, and stayed that way for weeks. Because of this, the largest diaspora in the history of the US occurred, with over one million people moving to other parts of the country. By January 2006, only 200,00 were living there, which was less than half of the pre-storm population. As of 2013, nearly 380,000 people are living in New Orleans.
- 2+ 10- 6
Typhoon Nina 1975
Not to be known as some regular typhoon, Super Typhoon Nina landed onto the scene with a bang, hitting China hard and quickly destroying the Banqiao Dam. The collapse of the Banqiao Dam led to such great flooding that it set off a series of dam collapses throughout China, greatly magnifying the damage caused by Typhoon Nina.
With a 100,000+ death toll, Super Typhoon Nina is the 2nd deadliest Typhoon in recorded history, though we think it should be #1 since the most deadly typhoon, which hit Haiphong, Vietnam in 1881, didn't even get a name.
- 3+ 10- 7
Hurricane Andrew was the only named hurricane for the 1992 season, but boy, did it make it's mark. Wreaking havoc across the northwestern Bahamas, southern Florida and southwest Louisiana, Andrew caused $26.5 billion (USD 1992) in damage, though some sources place this number closer to $34 billion.
Even with all the destruction caused by Hurricane Andrew, the death toll was very low, with 26 deaths caused directly by the hurricane and 39 as secondary deaths.
- 4+ 3- 2
The Great Hurricane of 1780
Holding the record as the deadliest Atlantic hurricane, this storm devastated Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Lesser Antilles, Bermuda, and possibly Florida and other States.
While the total damages are unknown, the death toll was well over 22,000 people, more than any other decade of Atlantic hurricanes.
- 5+ 5- 5
Not happy to just be one of the most destructive Pacific hurricanes to make landfall in Mexico, Hurricane Pauline had to be one of the deadliest too.
Working it's way up the Mexican coastline, Pauline dumped torrential rainfalls with 16" of rain in Acapulco alone! The relentless downpour caused disastrous land slides in some of Mexico's poorest villages, killing roughly 250-400 people and leaving a striking 300,000 people homeless.
Beyond all the lives destroyed, Hurricane Pauline caused a massive amount of damage, exceeding $7.5 billion (USD 1997).
- 6+ 5- 6
Galveston Hurricane of 1900
The year was 1900, the place was Galveston, Texas. On September 4th, a warning was released, saying a large tropical storm had just passed Cuba and was headed west across the Gulf of Mexico.
Even though the US Weather Bureau had warning that a large storm was on its way, the policy at the time was to avoid pesky words like "hurricane," or "tornado," to avoid giving people a chance to escape oops, I mean to avoid panic.
In this case, panic is really what the people of Galveston should have done, as there was a big ass storm on it's way, and they were grossly unprepared.
In 1900, Galveston was only about nine feet above sea level, which was a bit too low. When the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 made landfall on September 8th, it brought a 15-foot tall storm surge, along with 135mph winds, making it a category 4 hurricane. The surge was so powerful that it washed over the entire island, knocking buildings off their foundations, and then pounding them into scraps of wood. In total, over 3600 houses were destroyed.
The Galveston Hurricane is the deadliest natural disaster to ever hit the US, claiming over 6,000 lives. The total damages exceeded $20 million in 1900's dollars, which is over $500 million in today's dollars (inflation is no joke!).
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