The Atlantic

What Makes a Storm Deadly?

How Harvey compares to Katrina, in terms of lethality
Source: Carlos Barria / Reuters

Experts don’t know exactly how many people died when Hurricane Katrina plowed through New Orleans in 2005, but they do know it was a staggering number. Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history and the deadliest hurricane since 1928, killed at least 971 people, according to a 2008 study. Higher estimates put the death toll at around 1,440.

Now, in Texas, Harvey is causing widespread damage and devastation, and the rain continues to dump on Houston. Its death toll is comparably low, at just six people, but storms kill people in surprising ways. According to

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