5 tropical Cyclones that hit India so hard

by Shatakshi Gupta

A tropical cyclone is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans and is characterized by low atmospheric pressure, high winds, and heavy rain. A cyclone maintains it’s strength as long as it remains over warm water. In other parts of the world, these are also called hurricanes and typhoons depending on the region of their origin. There are 5 categories of these storms on the basis of their moving speed, ranging from category 1 be the least destructive to category 5 the most devastating.

If we talk about India, the  Indian subcontinent is one of the worst affected regions in the world. The subcontinent with a long coastline of 8041 kilometres is exposed to nearly 10 per cent of the world’s tropical cyclones. Of these, the majority of them have their initial genesis over the Bay of Bengal and strike the East coast of India. On an average, five to six tropical cyclones form every year, of which two or three could be severe. More cyclones occur in the Bay of Bengal than the Arabian Sea and the ratio is approximately 4:1. In this article, we will discuss some of the cyclones that devastated the coastal life of India.


Amphan( pronounced dead as Um-Pun) is the most recent cyclone that hit the eastern coast of the Indian subcontinent. The name of the cyclone was given by Thailand, it formed over the Bay of Bengal and later intensified from a ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm’ (VSCS) to ‘Extreme Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS) category. Winds are gusting at a speed of 270 km per hour. It the second strongest tropical cyclone worldwide. Regions of West Bengal and Odisha are badly hit by this. Till now 72 people are dead due to Amphan and thousands are displaced from their homes.


Fani was the second most strong tropical cyclones that hit Indian subcontinent.  This Bangladeshi named cyclone was of Extreme Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS) category. On 26 April 2019, Fani was originated from a tropical depression that formed west of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. Wind speed was reached up to 250 km per hour. The storm claimed 89 lives and damaged property worth many billions.


Titli was originated in the Bay of Bengal and struck the eastern coast of India in the second week of October 2018. Titli was named by Pakistan. It was a cyclone of VSCS category, wind speed reached up to 150 km per hour. This Cyclone was termed as rarest of the rare due to its characteristics such as recurvature after landfall and retaining its devastating potential after landfall and recurvature away from the coastal areas for more than two days.

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Hudhud originated from a low-pressure system developed over the Andman Sea on October 6 2014. It later intensified into Very Severe Cyclone Storm category.  The name of the cyclone was given by Oman after a bird of Israel. Wind speed reached up to 185 km per hour. The most affected state was Andhra Pradesh. Nepal experienced an avalanche due to the cyclone and the total death toll of both countries reached 124.


It was the cyclone of the most destructive category, the wind speed reached as much as 260 km per hour. Phailin was originated from the Gulf of Thailand on October 4, 2013, and later moved to the Bay of Bengal. The name was given by Thailand. Odisha was the worst sufferer. Phailin damaged the property worth rupees 260 billion and took the lives of 45 people.