The World Meteorological Organization's Hurricane Committee announced Thursday that the names Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate have been removed from the list of rotating names. Storm names are retired if they were so deadly or destructive that the future use of the name would be insensitive - otherwise names are reused on a six-year cycle. They will be replaced by Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel, which will be used in the 2023 hurricane season.
With these four additions, a total of 86 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953. The hurricanes killed hundreds of people and caused billions of dollars in damage - more than $250 billion in just the US, according to WMO.
Hurricane Harvey, which was a Category 4 storm when it hit Texas in late August, directly killed at least 68 people.
Below you'll find a recap from the National Hurricane Center of the four retired storms from 2017.
Harvey, which dumped up to 1.5 metres of rain on southeastern Texas, and Maria, which ravaged Puerto Rico and Dominica, are the second- and third-costliest storms in USA history, NOAA said. The catastrophic hurricane made seven landfalls, four of which occurred as a category 5 hurricane across the northern Caribbean Islands. Many agree that appending names to storms makes it easier for the media to report on tropical cyclones, heightens interest in warnings and increases community preparedness. Irma came ashore in southwest Florida as a Category 4 hurricane. The death toll from Maria in Puerto Rico is 65, but because the island still lacks power, the number of indirect deaths is hard to calculate.
Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate will join the list of exceptional hurricane names. "Maria caused 31 direct deaths with 34 missing in Dominica, and two direct deaths in Guadeloupe", says NOAA. In 2005, five storm names, including Katrina, were retired - the most for a single season.
Hurricane Nate crossed northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras as a tropical storm, then made landfall on the northern Gulf Coast as a category 1 hurricane. But its rainfall brought flooding and mudslides that caused 44 deaths in Central America.
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