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World

Four hurricane names retired after deadly destruction

  • Throughout the annual Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, storms are named to make them easier to identify in warning messages.
18 Mar, 2021

GENEVA: The Atlantic hurricane names Dorian, Laura, Eta and Iota are being retired due to the trail of death and destruction left in their wake, the UN's World Meteorological Organization said Wednesday.

The four names were wiped off the lists following a two-day virtual meeting of the WMO's 28-country Hurricane Committee serving North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

"We've retired some hurricane names based on the impact on lives and property," said committee chair Ken Graham, director of the US National Hurricane Center.

During 2020, the unprecedented number of 30 named Atlantic storms led to at least 400 fatalities and cost $41 billion in damages.

"Considering a record-breaking season during the global pandemic, many lives were saved through this committee's work," said Graham.

"It is critical we have a plan, coordinate our efforts, and share challenges and best practices."

Throughout the annual Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, storms are named to make them easier to identify in warning messages.

Storms are assigned alternating male and female names in alphabetical order -- this year beginning with Ana, Bill and Claudette.

They are reused every six years, though if any hurricane is particularly devastating, its name is retired and replaced.

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