Page last updated at 21:11 GMT, Monday, 5 May 2008 22:11 UK

Timeline: Major tropical cyclones

Devastation caused by cyclone in Orissa, India, in 1999
A super-cyclone killed at least 10,000 people in eastern India in 1999

Tropical cyclones, also known as hurricanes and typhoons, are amongst the most powerful and destructive meteorological systems on earth.

They have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and caused considerable damage to property in the last 100 years.

MAY 2008

A devastating cyclone strikes Burma, killing more than 10,000 people and leaving thousands missing, according to the military government.


A super-cyclone sweeps through the state of Orissa in eastern India, killing at least 10,000 people and leaving an estimated 1.5 million homeless. Winds of over 250km/h (160mph) cause a devastating tidal surge to drive in across the low-lying plains along the coast.


Hurricane Mitch carves a path of destruction across Central American states of Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize. More than 18,000 people are reported dead as the torrential rain caused mudslides which sweep away whole villages.

APRIL 1991

Bangladesh Cyclone 02B strikes the Chittagong region. Winds in excess of 240km/h (150mph), together with a tidal surge 5m (15ft) high, kill an estimated 140,000 people and devastate the coast south-east of Dhaka.


A cyclone hits the south-eastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Its strong winds and torrential rains cause heavy flooding and a 5m (15ft) high tidal surge that leave 10,000 people dead.


Typhoon Nina dumps 1,692mm (67 inches) of rain during three days on China's Funju mountain range. The huge volume of water causes the Banqiao dam and a string of 61 smaller dams to collapse, resulting in floods that kill as many as 200,000 people.


Up to 500,000 people lose their lives and 5 million people are affected when the deadliest cyclone in history hits modern-day Bangladesh. The storm raises water levels by 9m (30ft) in the Bay of Bengal and causes extensive flooding in the Ganges delta.

MAY 1963

A cyclone lashes the Chittagong coast in modern-day Bangladesh, killing at least 11,500 people and damaging about 1 million homes.

MAY 1961

A cyclone kills some 11,000 people in East Pakistan - modern-day Bangladesh.


A cyclone hits the Bay of Bengal near the India-East Pakistan border, resulting in about 40,000 deaths.


A cyclone devastates the eastern Chinese coastal city of Shantou, killing as many as 60,000 people.

Height of the Burma cyclone
05 May 08 |  World
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