Natural disasters and catastrophes have contributed towards altering and shaping the course of civilizations as much as wars and battles if not more. It doesn’t need to be emphasized that our lonely planet has been rocked by countless natural calamities eons before we started recording these. The following are some of the most devastating storms, cyclones, typhoons, and hurricanes since recorded history that have taken a huge toll in terms of human lives (not to speak of other life forms) and caused incalculable loss of property and croplands.
The Bhola Cyclone of 1970 (Bangladesh)
It won’t be out of place to state that East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh) was able to break free from the chastening rule of Pakistan in 1971 that came about in the aftermath of the Bhola Cyclone that ravaged the entire deltaic nation. Strong gusts of wind originating from the Bay of Bengal devastated acres of croplands, killed countless livestock, and turned the low-lying areas into watery graves for nearly half-a-million people.
The Coringa Cyclone of 1839 (present day Andhra Pradesh)
This cyclone struck the Coringa region which is now Andhra Pradesh leaving some 3, 00, 000 people dead although the estimate is doubtful owing to the absence of reliable record keeping techniques)
The Haiphong Typhoon of 1881 (Vietnam)
You’d normally associate typhoons with China but violent and destructive storms have struck neighboring countries occasionally. A calamitous storm wreaked havoc on Haiphong city in 1881 killing some 3 lakh people and inundating thousands of acres of paddy fields.
The Nina Typhoon of 1975 (China)
More than 2, 29, 000 people lost their lives in the Nina Typhoon.
The Backerganj Cyclone of 1876 (Bangladesh)
Over 2 lakh lives were claimed by the Backerganj cyclone.
The Gorky Cyclone of 1991 (Bangladesh)
About 1, 40, 000 people died in the wake of the Gorky Cyclone and 4, 00, 000 acres of cropland were submerged.