Odisha’s Tryst With 8 Cyclones Since 1999

Bhubaneswar: Cyclonic storm Gulab was about 140 km eastsoutheast of Goplapur at 11.30 am on Sunday. It is likely to cross north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coasts between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur, as a cyclonic storm around midnight with maximum sustained wind speed of 75-85 kmph gusting to 95 kmph.

This is the eighth cyclone to cross close to Odisha coast since 1999.

Before the 1999 Super Cyclone that left a trail of destruction behind it, the last cyclone about which there is some detailed information is that of October 1971 in the district of Balasore which claimed thousands of lives and left lakhs of people homeless.

Here are some of the deadliest cyclonic storms since 1999:

1. Cyclone Phailin (2013): Cyclone Phailin made landfall near Gopalpur on October 12, 2013, at 9 pm. It was the second strongest tropical cyclone in India since the 1999 Odisha cyclone, bringing winds of 140 mph and torrential rain that toppled trees and power lines along 250 miles of the Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coastlines.

2. Cyclone Hudhud (2014): Cyclone Hudhud was a strong tropical cyclone that caused damage to Visakhapatnam city in Andhra Pradesh. The very severe cyclone made landfall at Kailasagiri near Visakhapatanam at 11.30 am on October 12, 2014. Odisha too was affected by Hudhud. A total of 61 people lost their lives in Andhra Pradesh.

3. Cyclone Titli (2018): Very severe cyclonic storm Titli was part of the 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. With gusts of up to 165 kmph, it made landfall in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. More than 3,00,000 people were evacuated in Odisha, operations at Paradip port were suspended and several trains and flights were cancelled. Gajapati suffered extensive damage.

4. Cyclone Fani (2019): Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani was the first severe cyclonic storm of 2019, and also the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Odisha since 1999. Fani reached its peak intensity on May 2, 2019, as a high-end Category 4 major hurricane, with maximum sustained wind speeds of 209-251 kmph. A day later, it made landfall at Puri, Odisha, and weakened into a Category 1-equivalent ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm soon after.

5. Cyclone Bulbul (2019): Bulbul led to Odisha suffering agricultural damage, with 490,000 acres worth of crops destroyed state-wide. It tracked northwards in the Bay of Bengal, and it finally made landfall near Sagar Island in West Bengal as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm on November 9, 2019, causing extremely heavy rainfall and winds of up to 135 km/h across southern West Bengal. Bulbul directly affected 35 lakh people in West Bengal.

6. Cyclone Amphan (2020): The powerful tropical cyclone led to the destruction of lives and property in Odisha and West Bengal. It made landfall near Bakkhali in West Bengal at 2:30 pm on May 20. Cyclone Amphan was the first pre-monsoon super cyclone of this century that emerged from the Bay of Bengal.

7. Cyclone BOB 03 (2020): A depression was formed in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Meteorological Department named it BOB 03. The very next day after the identification, the BOB 03 hit the north Odisha-West Bengal coastline and caused huge destruction of lives and property.

8. Cyclone Yaas (2021): This very severe cyclonic storm made landfall south of Balasore in Odisha on May 26 and tore into the bordering regions of West Bengal and Odisha, leaving behind a trail of destruction in its wake on the eastern coast. During landfall, its wind speed was 130 to 140 kmph gusting to 155 kmh, lower than earlier expected.

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