The record-setting hurricane season of 2005 in the United States has already been mentioned. Experts expected Hurricane Katrina (which hit Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29, 2005) to be the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Some early estimates exceeded $100 billion, but, as it turns out, the economic impact has exceeded $200 billion.
Just this past week (March 22, 2006), Cyclone Larry (same as a hurricane, except in the northern hemisphere), a Category 5 storm, struck Australia with winds of 180 mph. This incredibly powerful storm went inland about 60 miles south of Cairns. Banana plantations were stripped bare and the damage is expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
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