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Hurricanes, wildfires, drought and deep freezes could make 2021 one of the costliest and deadliest years for natural disasters in recent US history, a federal report found Monday, as scientists and policymakers warned That climate change could make extreme weather more common.

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The United States suffered 20 weather disasters with economic losses that totaled $1 billion last year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Estimated Mondays compared to an average of $7.4 billion in disasters since 1980.

These massive events generated economic damage of approximately $145 billion, nearly triple NOAA’s annual average of $51.4 billion since 1980, making 2021 the third costliest year for natural disasters in four decades (NOAA figures adjusted for inflation,

three most expensive disasters Last August was Category Four Hurricane Ida ($75 billion), surprisingly cold February temperatures that caused power outages in Texas and Central America ($24 billion) and a wildfire outbreak in California and other western states ($10.6 billion).

Some 688 Americans died in the 2021 disasters, the sixth highest death toll since 1980 and nearly double the average of 361 deaths per year over that period – including 229 deaths dried 226 deaths in the western US and during the cold wave in February.

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