These worst cyclones in history have wreaked havoc on towns and left enduring impacts. A tropical cyclone is a fast-moving storm system that forms over warm water and has a low-pressure center. Cyclones have wreaked havoc and devastation all over the planet. Tropical cyclones are classed as hurricanes, typhoons, or cyclones whenever sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour are reached. A tropical cyclone’s name is determined by the region in which it occurs. Hurricanes are those that occur in the Eastern Pacific. Typhoons are the type of storms that occur in Southeast Asia. Cyclones are those that occur in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific. From least to most severe, below are the world’s ten worst cyclones.
The 1942 Bangladesh Cyclone (Bangladesh, 1942)
The Bangladesh Cyclone of 1942 is the least severe on the list. The Cyclone hit Bangladesh’s eastern coast on October 16 with 70 miles per hour winds, causing a 20-foot storm surge. The Cyclone killed 61,000 people in the affected areas and destroyed at least 3,000 homes.
Nargis, a tropical cyclone (Myanmar, 2008)
Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar on May 2, 2008, moving across the country’s southern region over two days. Cyclone Nargis wreaked havoc on Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Delta region in particular. According to the United Nations, the Cyclone affected approximately 2.4 million people. The Cyclone killed 84,500 people and left 53,800 people missing.
On April 29, 1991, Cyclone 02B, also known as the Bangladesh Cyclone of 1991, hit land on the southeastern coast of Chittagong. The Cyclone destroyed Bangladesh, killing over 135,000 people and displacing 10 million people. In addition, one million cows were killed due to the Cyclone. More pressingly, the Cyclone wreaked havoc on the country’s crops. As a result, many cyclone survivors would face the risk of starvation. Cyclone 02B caused more than $1.5 billion in damages.
Cyclone Chittagong (Bangladesh, 1897) The Chittagong Cyclone devastated Chittagong, Bangladesh, in 1897, killing 175,000 people and destroying more than half of the town’s buildings. Unlike the other cyclones on this list, there isn’t much information or news coverage on the Cyclone.
Backerganj Cyclone was fantastic (Bangladesh, 1876)
The Cyclone, also known as the Bengal Cyclone of 1876, struck Bangladesh on October 31, 1876, killing 200,000 people. The Cyclone formed over the Bay of Bengal and hit land at the Meghna River Estuary. The Cyclone generated a 40-foot storm surge that flooded low-lying coastal areas when paired with a high tide. The Cyclone’s effects were particularly lethal due to the high tide and storm surge; an estimated 50% of deaths from the Cyclone were caused by starvation and disease caused by the flooding.
Backerganj Cyclone is a cyclone in Backerganj, India (Bangladesh, 1584)
The Backerganj Cyclone crushed Bangladesh in 1584, forming in the Bay of Bengal. The Cyclone wreaked havoc in Bangladesh, killing an estimated 200,000 people.
Cyclone Coringa (India, 1839)
A devastating hurricane hit the port city of Coringa on November 25, 1839. The typhoon brought strong gusts and a 40-foot storm surge to the city, wreaking destruction. The typhoon killed 300,000 people and damaged the harbor, killing 20,000 ships. Coringa could never fully recover from the Cyclone’s damage and is now a small village.
These are the most destructive cyclones in recorded history. They are amongst the worst natural disasters in history, causing widespread devastation. Communities like Coringa, for example, have yet to bounce back from the disaster’s effects. Cyclones will hopefully be simpler to track, and people will be alerted in advance thanks to the development of new technology, more investment in international aid, and support for the construction of more cyclone-resistant infrastructure. Let us know if you want to read more about these natural hazards…