In an op-ed for the New York Times, Lab co-directors Solomon Hsiang and Trevor Houser quantify the potential cost of Hurricane Maria for the Puerto Rican economy, and highlight the importance of a large, timely, sustained and well-designed disaster relief…
In the NewsTimeSeptember 20, 2018
In Puerto Rico, Many of the 3,000 Deaths Were Slow and Painful. Just Like the Recovery
Even amid the recriminations over the tardy, checkered federal response to Hurrican Maria, survivors of the storm have always known it killed far more people than had been counted. The evidence arrived over weeks and months at morgues and funeral homes across the U.S. territory of 3.3 million. This article chronicles the destruction of Maria, citing the Lab's research: Of 13,000 “cyclone events” since 1950, only five were more intense than Maria—and all of those were in the Pacific and struck smaller land masses.
September 29, 2017
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Anttila-Hughes JK, SM Hsiang (2012). Destruction, Disinvestment, and Death: Economic and Human Losses Following Environmental Disaster. SSRN Working Paper.
Finds that unearned income and excess infant mortality in the year after typhoon exposure outnumber immediate damages and death tolls roughly 15-to-1, helping to indicate that economic and human losses due to environmental disaster may be an order of magnitude larger than previously thought and that adaptive decision-making may amplify, rather than dampen, disasters' social cost.
Published September 12, 2012Read