POST TIME: 10 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Major cyclones in recent history
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

Major cyclones in recent history

Bangladesh, a deltaic country, has been in the line of a number of devastating tropical cyclones. In their trail, the cyclones have left behind complete chaos, death and despair. As the country learns to adapt and respond to this natural disaster more efficiently, deaths from these natural calamities have reduced significantly. We take a look back at some of the worst tropical cyclones to have hit the country.

Bhola Cyclone (November 11, 1970): The cyclone claimed the lives of at least 300,000 people in the low-lying region near the Bangladesh coast. Amid political unrest in the-then East Pakistan, the aloof Pakistan government took little preparation for the cyclone, causing massive loss of lives and post-cyclone sufferings. This is the deadliest known tropical cyclone in the history of Bangladesh.

The 1991 Cyclone (April 19, 1991): A powerful tropical cyclone struck Chittagong in southeastern Bangladesh on April 29, 1991. At least 138,000 people were killed by the catastrophic cyclone. It caused a damage of around $1.5 billion.

Urir Char Cyclone (May 25, 1985): A severe cyclone hit the country with a wind speed of 154 km per hour and 3.0-4.6 metre storm surges. At least 11,069 people were killed and 94,379 houses were damaged. Cyclone Sidr (November 15, 2007): Cyclone Sidr hit the country’s coastal belt with a wind speed of 223 km per hour that claimed the lives of 3,363 people and caused massive damage to homes, croplands and vegetation.

Cyclone Aila (May 25, 2009): Cyclone Aila hit offshore 15 districts of southwestern part of Bangladesh with wind speed of 120 km per hour. About 150 persons were killed and 200,000 houses were damaged in the storm. Combined with high tides, the cyclone surge caused widespread flooding and damaged in the southern districts.

Aside from these cyclones which caused widespread devastation, there are some other cyclones which too have hit the country in the last few decades. Some of these are Cyclone 04B (November 30, 1988): A severe cyclonic storm struck the coastal areas with a wind speed of 162 km per hour accompanied by a storm surge of 4.5 metre. At least 5,708 people died in the storm.

May 1997 (May 19, 1997) Cyclone: A cyclone with a wind speed of about 230 km per hour lashed the coastal line on May 19, 1997 killing 155 people. Cyclone Mahasen (May 16, 2013): Cyclone Mahasen hit near Chittagong with a wind speed of 85 km per hour. It caused death of 17 people. Cyclone Roanu (May 21, 2016): Cyclone Roanu made landfall near Chittagong killing 26 people. Around 40,000 houses were damaged in the storm.

Cyclone Mora (May 28, 2017): Cyclone Mora made landfall on Bangladesh’s coastal district of Cox’s Bazar. High winds, heavy rain and tidal surges triggered severe floods and landslides and immediately killed 7 people.

Cyclone Fani (May 4, 2019): Cyclone Fani, the strongest storm to hit the Indian subcontinent in the last five years barrelled into Bangladesh after leaving a trail of destruction across the eastern coast of India. At least 12 people died and scored of others wounded as Fani swung northeastwards into the country.