Four hurricane names retired

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Three hurricane names in the Atlantic and one in the eastern North Pacific were retired from the official name rotation by the World Meteorological Organization’s hurricane committee because of the deaths and damage they caused in 2008.

The names Gustav, Ike and Paloma in the Atlantic and Alma in the North Pacific will not be used again. Those names would have been used again in 2014. In their place will be Gonzalo, Isaias and Paulette in the Atlantic and Amanda in the North Pacific. The committee issues the list of potential names for tropical cyclones to be used every six years for both the Atlantic basin and eastern North Pacific basin.

Details of the retired 2008 named storms:

• Gustav became a hurricane Aug. 26, making landfall in Haiti as a Category 1 hurricane. Gustav then struck western Cuba as a Category 4 hurricane, making its final landfall Sept. 1 near Cocodrie, La., as a Category 2 hurricane. Hurricane force winds, storm surge and heavy rain produced more than $4 billion damage in Louisiana. Gustav killed 112 people, including 77 in Haiti.

• Ike became a hurricane Sept. 3 and rapidly intensified to a Category 4 hurricane northeast of the Leeward Islands. The storm struck the Turks and Caicos Islands and Great Inagua Island in the Southeastern Bahamas Sept. 7, and the northeast coast of Cuba later that day. Ike made its final landfall Sept. 13 at Galveston Island, Texas as a Category 2 hurricane. Ike killed more than 80 people across the Caribbean and Bahamas, and another 20 in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Total estimated U.S. property damage from Ike stands at $19.3 billion.

• Paloma reached hurricane intensity Nov. 7 and became the second-strongest November Atlantic hurricane on record the next day, reaching Category 4. According to the Cuban government, more than 1,400 homes were destroyed on that island with $300 million U.S. dollars in damage.

• Alma was the first eastern North Pacific basin tropical cyclone to make landfall along the Pacific Coast of Central America since records began in 1949. The storm formed quickly May 28 west-northwest of Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica. Alma was responsible for two direct deaths and the destruction of thousands of homes.

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