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In Wake of Oncoming 'Amphan', A Look at Major Cyclones That Hit India Over the Past Two Decades

Representative image.

Representative image.

India has faced several cyclones in the past two decades, with some of them causing more damage than others.

Fazil Khan
  • News18.com New Delhi
  • Last Updated: May 19, 2020, 9:21 AM IST
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The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday said that an extremely severe cyclonic storm named ‘Amphan’ was approaching the country’s Eastern coast.

The cyclone in the Bay of Bengal is expected to intensify into a ’super cyclonic storm’ over the next 12 hours, the IMD said.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) at 4 PM today to take stock of the situation, Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.

India is highly prone to tropical cyclones that wreak havoc in coastal states almost every year. The country has faced several cyclones of varying effects in the past two decades, with some of them causing more damage than others

Here is a list of the major cyclones that hit the country over the past two decades:

Cyclone Fani, 2019

Almost a year ago, cyclone Fani hit the coastal state of Odisha in early May 2019. The cyclone was categorised by the IMD as an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ — the second most intense category. More than a million people were evacuated by the state government.

While reports of damage caused varied across sources, as is the case with natural disasters, at least 89 people died and economic damages worth over US$ 8 billion in both India and Bangladesh were reported. However, most of the damage was caused in Odisha.

Cyclone Titli, 2018

Cyclone Titli made landfall on the southwest coast of Gopalpur in Andhra Pradesh in the second week of October 2018.

Coastal storm surge, high-speed winds, and inland flooding caused economic damages topping US$ 920 million and at least 85 people were killed, according to the Global Catastrophe Recap 2018.

Cyclone Ockhi, 2017

A ‘very severe cyclonic storm’, Ockhi, hit Sri Lanka, Lakshadweep islands, and parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in November 2017. It was one of the strongest tropical cyclones to be recorded in the Arabian sea.

The cyclone triggered extensive flooding in Sri Lanka and portions of India as it brought prolonged heavy rainfall to the affected areas from November 29 through the first week in December. At least 245 people were killed and hundreds more were listed as missing as the cyclone caused damage to more than 40,000 homes across Sri Lanka and India, a ‘Global Catastrophe Recap’ report had said.

Cyclone Hudhud, 2014

In October 2014, tropical cyclone Hudhud hit the coast of Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Odisha. Moving northwards, the cyclone caused serious damages in Uttar Pradesh as well as in Nepal.

At least 124 people were reported to have lost their lives whereas more than two and a half lakh were affected in just the two states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

Cyclone Phailin, 2013

The cyclone majorly hit Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand.

Nearly 44 casualties were reported. Given the extent of destruction of public infrastructure as well as the inundation of agricultural land caused by floods, the total economic damages were pegged at over Rs 26,000 crore.

Odisha Super Cyclone of 1999

In late October 1999, Odisha was hit by one of the most intense tropical cyclones ever recorded. It was categorised as a ‘super cyclonic storm’ — the most severe according to IMD.

While neighbouring Bangladesh and Myanmar too witnessed the consequences of the cyclone, Odisha suffered the most.

Close to 10,000 lives lost their lives in the natural calamity, according to the International Disaster Database. Some estimates even put the fatalities at over 15,000. Economic damages of over US$ 4 billion were reported while more than 12 million people were affected.

In the case of Amphan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) at 4 PM today to take stock of the situation, Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.


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