Cyclone Fani: A look at some of the deadliest cyclones in India
New Delhi, May 02: Cyclonic storm Fani, which is lying about 450 km from the Odisha coast, is the first severe, cyclonic storm to have formed in April in India's oceanic neighbourhood since 1976, according to records from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
While severe cyclones (defined as generating maximum wind speeds of 89-117 kmph) can form any time, they tend to be concentrated in November - after the monsoon or around May. As cyclone Fani nears, let us take a look at the deadliest cyclones in India.
Bhola cyclone, 1970: The 1970 Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck East Pakistan and India's West Bengal on November 3, 1970. It remains the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded and one of the deadliest natural disasters. At least 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, primarily as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta.
Odisha Supercyclone, 1999: Odisha's worst-ever cyclone, in 1999, killed over 10,000 people.The cyclone marked a turning point in disaster preparedness.
Cyclone Phyan, 2009: Cyclone Phyan emerged into the Arabian Sea and caused heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Phyan was one of the wettest cyclone in India and brought extremely heavy rainfall of over the coasts of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.Some reports said about 20 lives were lost.
Cyclone Nilam, 2012: Cyclonic Storm Nilam was the deadliest tropical cyclone to directly affect South India since Cyclone Jal in 2012. More than 3000 people were evacuated around Mahabalipuram in the wake of the storm. The cyclone has claimed at least 12 lives across southern India.
Cyclone Helen, 2013: Cyclone Helen, which crossed Andhra Pradesh coast on Friday, has damaged crops on nearly 3.5 lakh hectares of land. The cyclone has claimed seven deaths.
Two deaths each were reported from Krishna and East Godavari districts and one each from Srikakulam and West Godavari districts.
Cyclone Phailin, 2013:
Phailin was the second-strongest tropical cyclone ever to make landfall in India, behind only the 1999 Odisha cyclone. The system started off on October 4, 2013 within the Gulf of Thailand, to the west of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Over the next few days, it moved westwards and emerged into the Andaman Sea.
Cyclone Ockhi, 2017: Cyclone Ockhi was the most intense and one of the strongest tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean. Ockhi from the Arabian Sea affected mainland India along with coastal areas of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
Ockhi is the first severe cyclonic storm in almost 40 years to have travelled about 2,400 kilometres from the Bay of Bengal to as far as the Gujarat coast, a senior Met Department official had said.
The cyclone killed 365 people, according to information shared by the ministry of home affairs in Parliament.
Cyclone Titli, 2018: Very severe cyclonic storm Titli was part of the 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season and made landfall between Odisha's Gopalpur and Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh. Over three lakh people were evacuated along the sea coast.
Cyclone Gaja - 2018: Cyclone Gaja hit the Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and some parts of coastal Puducherry with heavy rainfall in Cuddalore and Pamban. At least 45 people were killed and about 2,50,000 people were evacuated to relief camps in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.