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Dhaka Tribune

Deadliest cyclones in Bangladesh’s history

Bangladesh’s relationship with heavy storms from the Bay of Bengal has left a trail of deaths and destruction over the years

Update : 26 May 2024, 10:45 PM

As the country braces for the landfall of Cyclone Remal, which is now brewing over the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh is set to witness another natural calamity that might cause havoc on human lives and infrastructures along the coastal belt.

Bangladesh’s relationship with heavy storms from the Bay of Bengal has left a trail of deaths and destruction over the years.

Here are destructive cyclones from the past:

Bhola Cyclone (November 11, 1970) claimed the lives of at least 300,000 people in the low-lying region near the Bangladesh coast. This is the deadliest known tropical cyclone in the history of Bangladesh.

The April 1991 Cyclone was a powerful tropical cyclone that struck the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh on April 29, 1991. The cyclone killed at least 138,000 people. It caused damage of around $1.5 billion.

Barisal Cyclone (May 11, 1965) took lives of at least 19,279 people after it hit the coastal areas. Out of the casualties, 16,456 were in Barisal. The cyclone hit with a wind speed of about 160 km per hour associated with storm surge of 3.7-7.6 metres.

The December 1965 Cyclone hit the country on December 15 with a wind speed of about 217 km per hour and 2.3-3.6 metre storm surges. It claimed the lives of 873 people.

The October 1966 Cyclone hit the coastal area on October 1 with a wind speed of about 139 km per hour associated with storm surges of 6-7 metres. About 850 people died in the cyclone.

Urir Char Cyclone (May 25, 1985) was a severe cyclone that 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 04B (November 30, 1988) came as a severe cyclonic storm on the coastal areas with a wind speed of 162 km per hour accompanied by a storm surge of 4.5 metres. At least 5,708 people died in the storm.

May 1997 Cyclone crashed with a wind speed of about 230 km per hour and lashed the coastal line on May 19, 1997, killing 155 people.

Cyclone Sidr (November 15, 2007) lashed on the country’s coastal belt with a wind speed of 223 km per hour and claimed the lives of 3,363 people.

Cyclone Aila (May 25, 2009) hit offshore 15 districts in southwestern part of Bangladesh with wind speed of 120 km per hour. About 150 people were killed and 200,000 houses were damaged in the storm.

Cyclone Mahasen (May 16, 2013) hit near Chittagong with a wind speed of 85 km per hour. It caused the deaths of 17 people.

Cyclone Roanu (May 21, 2016) made landfall near Chittagong, killing 26 people. Around 40,000 houses were damaged in the storm.

Cyclone Fani (May 4, 2019) damaged crops on 63,063 hectares of land.

Cyclone Bulbul (November 9, 2019) hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh, affecting some 2,89,006 hectares of land while crops in 22,836 hectares were damaged.

Cyclone Amphan (May 20, 2020) was an extremely severe cyclonic storm that took the lives of at least 31 people and destroyed at least 1,76,007 hectares of agricultural land in 17 coastal districts. 

It also totally or partially damaged 83,560 establishments in Khulna.

Cyclone Yaas (May 26, 2021) battered Bangladesh, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless and destroying roads, crops, and fish farms in 23 districts, mostly along the coastline.

Cyclone Sitrang (October 24, 2022) claimed the lives of at least 24 people and left millions without power after it struck Bangladesh, forcing the evacuation of about a million people.

At midday on May 14, 2023, extremely severe Cyclone Mocha hit the coast between Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh and Kyaukpyu township in Myanmar, with sustained winds of 250 km/h and wind gusts up to 305 km/h.

Three fatalities were reported in Bangladesh at the time.

Cyclone Midhili (November 17, 2023) left seven people dead in Bangladesh.

A total of 19,655 hectares of crops were damaged in six districts under Barisal Division alone, amounting to losses of around Tk182 crore

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