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Drowning Was the Largest Cause of Death From Superstorm Sandy

Drowning Was the Largest Cause of Death From Superstorm Sandy
Gary He/Reuters

Drowning was the most common cause of death from last fall's Superstorm Sandy, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New York also had the most victims of any state.

According to the report, there were 117 Sandy-related deaths from October 28 to November 30 as counted by the American Red Cross; other accounts have posted different death tolls. Their analysis sheds some light on the storm's impact.

This chart shows the number of deaths by state.

Nearly 60 percent of these deaths are considered "directly related," or caused by the initial impact of the storm. A little over a third of all victims drowned, half within their own homes. And 80 percent of the drownings occured in New York.

The initial storm destroyed vital infrastructure, and another 38 deaths were reported as "indirectly related" to the storm. Nine of the 10 deaths reported from poisoning, for instance, were from carbon monoxide.

Another 12 deaths were reported of unknown or possibly-related causes.

Top image: Gary He/Reuters

Sara Johnson is a fellow at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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