Maria, a Killer Hurricane

Maria, a Killer Hurricane

September 24, 2018

Hurricane Maria killed more people than did Hurricane Katrina.

Although government officials initially reported 64 deaths due to the hurricane, independent analyses have estimated that Maria claimed thousands of victims. The discrepancies in the estimates can be traced to the methods used. Poor estimates have serious ramifications such as insufficient aid for disaster relief.

Video Spotlights: Death Toll Rises for Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico Governor’s Reaction

This post is based on the CBS News article, Hurricane Maria Caused an Estimated 2,975 Deaths in Puerto Rico, New Study Finds, by S. Lynch Baldwin and D. Begnaud, August 28, 2018. The videos shared in the spotlight are embedded in this article. Image source: Stocktrek Images/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What is a forecast? Would you define the estimate of 2,975 deaths as a forecast?

Guidance: Review the definition of a forecast. Since the deaths have already occurred, the estimate is not a forecast. However, the estimate is based on a prediction of the number of deaths if the hurricane had not struck the island. This prediction is derived using conventional forecasting techniques.

2. Why was the initial report of 64 deaths so inaccurate?

Guidance: The initial Continue reading