Disaster After Disaster By the Numbers / by Yessenia Funes

Yessenia Funes / La Calentura

Yessenia Funes / La Calentura

In the short span of roughly two weeks, the Earth has shown the world its true wrath. I'm not talking just hurricanes. Wildfires are raging throughout the West, too. Some regions are flooded, others in flames. This is the United States of America. Today. Right now.

Hurricane Irma has already landed on the Caribbean with the islands of Antigua and St. Martin seeing damage. Currently, Irma is headed to Puerto Rico and Cuba with Florida sitting in its potential path, too. Texas is still dealing with former Hurricane Harvey's impacts, too.

United Nations Chief Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said yesterday (Sept. 5) that natural disasters have quadrupled since 1970, per the Associated Press, and that most of these have occurred in the U.S. since 1995. I've already laid out the disproportionate impact such disasters have on people of color, but here are some more numbers to wrap your head around what these look like—by the numbers.

Hurricane Harvey


Number of Superfund sites flooded as of yesterday


Number of Superfund sites still inaccessible as of yesterday

> 50K

Number of people who went to government-paid hotels


Number of deaths, at the least

27 trillion

Gallons of rain in Texas and Louisiana 

$180 billion

Potential cost of reconstruction

Hurricane Irma


Number of "most solid" buildings in St. Martin that are now gone


Miles per hour wind speed, the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean


Number of people living in Barbuda, an island that has lost all communication due to damage


Number of confirmed deaths in the French Caribbean with the number expected to rise



Total number of active wildfires as of Sept. 6


Number of states reporting wildfires by Sept. 6


Number of homes burned in northern California


Number of people evacuated from homes in northern California