HURRICANE Dorian has killed locals and decimated villages in the Bahamas and is said to be heading to Florida.
A hurricane is a tropical storm with winds above 74 miles per hour that occur in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. Here’s what we know on the natural phenomenon.
What have been the deadliest hurricanes in history?
- The Great Hurricane – 1780, also known as Huracán San Calixto saw between 22,000 and 27,501 deaths. No data is available on the strength of the hurricane as the official Atlantic hurricane database doesn’t go back as far as 1780, but experts estimate the hurricane was likely a category 5.
- Pointe-à-Pitre Bay – hitting in 1776 , this hurricane saw over 6,000 deaths.
- The St Lucia Hurricane – in 1780, this hurricane attacked Puerto Rico and St Lucia and saw around 5,000 deaths.
- Newfoundland – devastating the North Carolina town of Newfoundland in 1775, this deadly hurricane caused mass destruction and resulted in over 4,000 deaths.
- Central Atlantic Hurricane – in September 1782 this hurricane destroyed Admiral Thomas Graves fleet during the American Revolutionary War and took the lives of over 3,000 people.
- Martinique and Dominica – This hurricane crashed across the islands of Martinique and Dominica in 1817, also killing 3,000 people.
- Hurricane Katrina – The costliest natural disaster ever to hit America, Katrina claimed at least 1,833 lives and left 80 per cent of New Orleans flooded with 70 per cent of homes in the city damaged.
What have been the strongest hurricanes in history?
Reliable records of hurricanes began being kept in 1851 and since then there have been 905 storms of at least hurricane intensity.
The intensity of a hurricane is determined either by its winds speed or its lowest barometric pressure.
Hurricane Patricia is the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the western hemisphere, hitting the Pacific coast of Mexico with winds of 202mph.
Hurricane Allen holds the record for the highest wind speed in the Gulf of Mexico with 190mph.
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When it comes to intensity, Hurricane Wilma in 2005 holds the record for the lowest barometric pressure.
The Saffir-Simpson scale has five categories of hurricane ranging from Category 1 with speeds of 74-95mp to Category 5 with speeds of 157mph.
In September 2019, Dorian has been experiencing winds of over 200mph and is ranked at category 5 – the highest rating.