"Hurricanes in the U.S. the last few decades killed thousands more people than meteorologists traditionally calculate and a disproportionate number of those victims are poor, vulnerable and minorities, according to a new epidemiological study.
A team of public health and storm experts calculated that from 1988 to 2019 more than 18,000 people likely died, mostly indirectly, because of hurricanes and lesser tropical cyclones in the continental United States. That’s 13 times more than the 1,385 people directly killed by storms that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration figures, but the study authors said those numbers aren’t directly comparable.
Instead of just looking at people who drowned, were hit by debris or killed directly by the storm, the study in Wednesday’s journal Science Advances examines changes in a storm-hit county’s overall number of deaths just before, during and after a hurricane and compared those to normal years. Researchers attributed the excess deaths to the storm, using a standard public health technique."