Nature, people make US lead world in extreme weather catastrophes: AP

NEW YORK, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Blame geography for the United States getting hit by stronger, costlier, more varied and frequent extreme weather than anywhere on the planet, The Associated Press (AP) cited several experts on Sunday.

Photo taken on Oct. 4, 2022 shows the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida, the United States. (Photo: Xinhua)

Two oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, jutting peninsulas like Florida, clashing storm fronts and the jet stream combine to naturally brew the nastiest of weather, according to the experts.

However, "that's only part of it. Nature dealt the United States a bad hand, but people have made it much worse by what, where and how we build," noted the U.S. news agency, adding that the extreme weather triggered by the U.S. unique geography creates hazards, but it takes humans to turn those hazards into disasters.

Just look where cities pop up in the United States and the rest of the world: near water that floods, except maybe Denver. More people are moving to areas, such as the South, where there are more hazards, according to the report.

Meanwhile, construction standards tend to be at the bare minimum and less likely to survive the storms, Northern Illinois meteorology professor Walker Ashley was quoted as saying.

In addition, poverty makes it hard to prepare for and bounce back from disasters, especially in the South, University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd told AP. That vulnerability is an even bigger issue in other places in the world.