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Harvey, Irma, Maria retired as Atlantic storm names

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Say goodbye to Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate.

What will the 2018 hurricane season bring? Now, their names - already cursed, loathed and spray-painted on hastily bought plywood - are being banished.

The World Meteorological Organisation committee has officially confirmed the addition of four new names to its Atlantic tropical storm list: Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel. Names are only retired under these circumstances when using it again would be seen as insensitive.

Four scratches from a single season is a lot, but it is not really a surprise, considering how nasty the storms were.

In the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans, tropical storms and hurricanes are named using an alphabetical list that rotates on a six-year cycle. Harvey is the second costliest hurricane in US history (after inflation), behind only Katrina in 2005.

The 2005 season has the most retired names (Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma) for one season, the hurricane center said. The storm caused "catastrophic flooding" and killed at least 68 people, the NOAA reported. It also inflicted serious damage on some of the other islands of the northeastern Caribbean Sea.

Damaged houses are shown in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in the Florida Keys.

It made another landfall in Cuba as a Category 5 storm and went on to strike Florida twice. The catastrophic hurricane made seven landfalls, four of which occurred as a category 5 hurricane across the northern Caribbean Islands. Irma caused 44 deaths and 85 indirect deaths in the Caribbean and Florida.

The first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season will be Alberto. Maria caused 31 direct deaths with 34 missing in Dominica, and two direct deaths in Guadeloupe.

Hurricane Nate killed 45 people in Central America.

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