As India Gears For Cyclone Yaas, Let’s Look At Five Worst Cyclones Of The World
Cyclone Yaas is equivalent to a category 3 cyclone & the second severe storm in the span of about 10 days to hit Indian coasts after Tauktae. While Tauktae devastated the western coastal belt, Cyclone Yaas is heading for the Eastern Coastal lines. Yaas is expected to make landfall near Balasore (Odisha) on 26th May with a wind speed of over 185 kmph. As India Gears for Cyclone Yaas, Let’s Look at Five Worst Cyclones of the World.
1. Bhola Cyclone – 1970
Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck Bangladesh and India’s West Bengal on November 11, 1970. It is the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded till date & is one of the world’s worst natural disasters. More than 500,000 people were killed in the storm, largely due to the storm surge that flooded most of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta.
The cyclone formed over the Bay of Bengal on November 8 and intensified while travelling northward. It reached its peak with winds of 185 kmph on November 10, and made landfall on the coast of Bangladesh on the following afternoon. The storm surge distressed many of the offshore islands, smearing off villages and destroying crops throughout the region. In the utmost brutally impacted Upazila, Tazumuddin, around 45% of the population of 167,000 was killed by the storm.
2. The Great Backerganj Cyclone – 1876
The Great Backerganj Cyclone of 1876 was one of the lethal tropical cyclones in history. It hit the coast of Backerganj, near Meghna estuary, in present-day Barisal, Bangladesh, killing about 200,000 people. Almost 50% of the deceased were due the flooding with storm surge, the remaining died subsequently due to the famine.
The cyclone was formed as a depression on 27th October over the South East Bay of Bengal. It initially intensified into a cyclonic storm on 30th October. The Cyclone further turned into a severe cyclonic storm with a core of hurricane winds finally making landfall on Backerganj.
The cyclone was put in Category – 4 tropical cyclone. The maximum wind speed was estimated at 220 kmph and the surge height was 3–13.6 mtrs.
3. The Bangladesh Cyclone – 1991
The Bangladesh cyclone in 1991 was among the noxious tropical cyclones on record. The tropical cyclone was formed gradually while meandering over the southern Bay of Bengal. It rapidly intensified to super cyclonic storm strength near the coast of Bangladesh on April 29. The Category – 5 cyclone made landfall in the Chittagong district of Bangladesh with winds of around 250 kmph. It rapidly weakened while moving through north-eastern India, degenerating into a remnant low over the Yunnan province in western China.
The tropical cyclone led to 6.1 mtrs storm surge causing at least 138,866 deaths and about US$1.7 billion in damage. As a result of the catastrophic damage, United States and other countries carried out the largest military operation Sea Angel.
4. Cyclone Nargis
Cyclonic Storm Nargis was an extremely devastating and deadly tropical cyclone causing the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Myanmar during early May 2008. It made landfall on 2nd May 2008 resulting in a storm surge 40 kilometers up the densely populated Irrawaddy delta. Nargis caused catastrophic destruction in Myanmar with over 138,373 fatalities. Although, there have been allegations that government officials under reported the actual death counts to avoid public backlash. Nargis was the costliest tropical cyclone in North Indian Ocean with estimated loss of $12 billion at the time.
The first named storm of 2008 season, Nargis developed on 27 April in the central area of Bay of Bengal. According to IMD, it rapidly intensified to achieve highest winds of over 165 kmph on 2nd May. The JTWC evaluated top wind speed of 215 kmph making it a Category 4 cyclone on the SSHS. The cyclone moved ashore at peak intensity in the Ayeyarwady Division of Myanmar &, after passing near the major city of Yangon, the storm gradually weakened until dissipating near the border of Myanmar and Thailand.
5. Hooghly River Cyclone – 1737
One of the five worst cyclones & deadliest natural disasters in the history, the Hooghly River Cyclone, confounded the Indian city of Calcutta. The cyclone, also known as Calcutta Cyclone, created massive destruction in the adjoining areas as well. It made landfall just south of Calcutta in the Ganges River Delta. Calcutta cyclone resulted in a 30-40 fts storm surge, and brought an approximated 15 inches of rain over six hours. The cyclone devastated the town of Calcutta, destroying the majority of buildings and structures, mostly made up of wood and having straw roofs. Many existing brick structures were also damaged to some extent beyond repair. The cyclone led to the estimated casualties of 300,00 – 350,000 people. Moreover, the Hoogly River Cyclone also destroyed around 20,000 vessels.
As we read about the five worst cyclones of the world, let’s pray for the safety of millions staring at the landfall of Cyclone Yaas. Do share you feedback in the comment section and subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive our latest blog in your inbox.
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