The speediest and deadliest cyclones in the world

June 14, 2020 7:20 AM

The 2013 super typhoon Haiyan, also called super typhoon Yolanda, was categorised as a category 5 storm. It was one of the most powerful typhoons of all times that devastated parts of the Philippines.

Galveston Hurricane

It is also called the Great Storm of 1900, as it was the deadliest natural disaster in the US history, with about 6,000-
12,000 fatalities. Most of the deaths happened in Galveston, Texas. About 7,000 buildings were destroyed in the
storm, with 10,000 people rendered homeless. Galveston city, founded in 1839, had weathered and survived several
storms and was an emerging town in the late 19th century. With a little population in the town, thousands dead and
the survivors migrating after the devastation, Galveston Saw a major decline in its population after the hurricane
struck. To prevent such destruction in the future, a team of engineers was hired to construct protection structures for such future events.

Bhola Cyclone

The 1970 Bhola cyclone that stuck Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) is the deadliest cyclone ever recorded and one
of the deadliest natural disasters, killing more than five lakh people. A number of villages were wiped out and crops
destroyed. In Upazila and Tazumuddin areas, over 45% of the population was killed. Both the local political leaders of East Pakistan and the international media criticised the Pakistan government’s handling of the relief operations.

The cyclone also brought widespread rains to the Andaman and Nicobar islands. According to a report by Pakistani radio, there were no survivors in the 13 islands near Chittagong. In the situation, India was one of the first nations to offer aid to Pakistan.

Haiphong Typhoon

The Haiphong typhoon of 1881was one of the most dangerous natural disasters and the third strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded. The town was then a young port (established by the French in 1874). It caused floods in the city of Haiphong in north-eastern Vietnam and killed approximately three lakh people. The region has not witnessed
any such storm ever since.

However, the Vietnamese government has prepared an action plan, which includes a flood defence system, flood warning and evacuation plans. The town is still a major port and any storm is likely to cause widespread economic loss.

Typhoon Nina

It is known in the Philippines as Typhoon Bebeng of 1975. It is the fourth deadliest tropical cyclone that killed 2.29 lakh people, as the Banqaio dam collapsed and caused devastation in the downstream areas. The collapse of the dam due to floods also caused the smaller dams to collapse, adding to the loss of lives and destruction. The dam had been built in the 1950s as part of the flood prevention and electricity production programme and was designed to withstand a ‘1000’ year flood. However, the typhoon produced floods twice the‘1000’yearlevel. All 9,600 residents
of Daowencheng, a downstream town, were killed, as the dam began to collapse post-midnight.

Typhoon Haiyan

The 2013 super typhoon Haiyan, also called super typhoon Yolanda, was categorised as a category 5 storm. It was one of the most powerful typhoons of all times that devastated parts of the Philippines. Morethan6,000 people were killed and 1,800 went missing. Around 33 million coconut trees were damaged in the storm and many livelihoods were lost. The Tacloban airport was destroyed, too, in the typhoon. Slow recovery efforts led to widespread lootings in Tacloban, as relief trucks were attacked and food was stolen. The government’s slow response was criticised.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest cyclones ever witnessed by the US in 2005 that killed more than 1,800 people, while more than 700 went missing. It was followed by flooding. The hurricane had great economic impact, as thousands of people engaged in farm-related jobs went jobless. It was reported that roughly80% of New Orleans was underwater. It is labelled as a category 5 hurricane with wind speed up to 175 mph. Hurricane Katrina is known to be the third strongest hurricane ever recorded in the US. More than 70 countries, including Kuwait, India, Qatar, China and Pakistan, made huge donations to recover the losses.

Typhoon Tip

Known in the Philippines as Typhoon Warling, it was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the year 1979. It caused heavy rainfall and floods. Due to the floods, large quantities of fuel were accidentally released from fuel farms causing fires. The typhoon generated wind speeds of 300 kmph.The super typhoon Tip is also known for its massive size. The diameter of its circulation spanned approximately2,220km, the largest storm on earth. Its diameter is said to be the same as the distance from NewYork to Dallas.

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