1970 Bhola cyclone

1970 Bhola cyclone

Overview
The 1970 Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone
Tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

 that struck East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

 (now Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

) and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

's West Bengal
West Bengal
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

 on November 12, 1970. It was the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded, and one of the deadliest natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

s in modern times. Up to 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, primarily as a result of the storm surge
Storm surge
A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically tropical cyclones and strong extratropical cyclones. Storm surges are caused primarily by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface. The wind causes the water to pile up higher than the ordinary sea...

 that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta
Ganges Delta
The Ganges Delta is a river delta in the South Asia region of Bengal, consisting of Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal, India. It is the world's largest delta, and empties into the Bay of Bengal...

. This cyclone was the sixth cyclonic storm of the 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season
1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season
The 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season had no bounds, but tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean tend to form between April and December, with peaks in May and November. The 1970 season saw a total of seven cyclonic storms, of which three developed into severe cyclonic storms...

, and also the season's strongest, reaching a strength equivalent to a strong Category 3 hurricane
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
The Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale , or the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale , classifies hurricanes — Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms — into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds...

.

The cyclone formed over the central Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
The Bay of Bengal , the largest bay in the world, forms the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean. It resembles a triangle in shape, and is bordered mostly by the Eastern Coast of India, southern coast of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to the west and Burma and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the...

 on November 8 and travelled north, intensifying as it did so.
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Encyclopedia
The 1970 Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone
Tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

 that struck East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

 (now Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

) and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

's West Bengal
West Bengal
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

 on November 12, 1970. It was the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded, and one of the deadliest natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

s in modern times. Up to 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, primarily as a result of the storm surge
Storm surge
A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically tropical cyclones and strong extratropical cyclones. Storm surges are caused primarily by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface. The wind causes the water to pile up higher than the ordinary sea...

 that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta
Ganges Delta
The Ganges Delta is a river delta in the South Asia region of Bengal, consisting of Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal, India. It is the world's largest delta, and empties into the Bay of Bengal...

. This cyclone was the sixth cyclonic storm of the 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season
1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season
The 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season had no bounds, but tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean tend to form between April and December, with peaks in May and November. The 1970 season saw a total of seven cyclonic storms, of which three developed into severe cyclonic storms...

, and also the season's strongest, reaching a strength equivalent to a strong Category 3 hurricane
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
The Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale , or the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale , classifies hurricanes — Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms — into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds...

.

The cyclone formed over the central Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
The Bay of Bengal , the largest bay in the world, forms the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean. It resembles a triangle in shape, and is bordered mostly by the Eastern Coast of India, southern coast of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to the west and Burma and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the...

 on November 8 and travelled north, intensifying as it did so. It reached its peak with winds of 185 km/h (115 mph) on November 12, and made landfall on the coast of East Pakistan that night. The storm surge devastated many of the offshore islands, wiping out villages and destroying crops throughout the region. In the most severely affected upazila
Upazilas of Bangladesh
||The districts of Bangladesh are divided into subdistricts called Upazila Parishad , or Thana . Upazilas are similar to the county subdivisions found in some Western countries....

, Tazumuddin
Tazumuddin Upazila
Tazumuddin is an Upazila of Bhola District in the Division of Barisal, Bangladesh.-Geography:Tazumuddin is located at . It has 20,444 units of house hold and total area 512.92 km².-Demographics:...

, over 45% of the population of 167,000 was killed by the storm.

The Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

i government led by Junta
Military junta
A junta or military junta is a government led by a committee of military leaders. The term derives from the Spanish language junta meaning committee, specifically a board of directors...

 leader General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 Yahya Khan
Yahya Khan
General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan Qizilbash, H.Pk, HJ, S.Pk, psc was the third President of Pakistan from 1969 to 1971, following the resignation of Ayub Khan...

 was severely criticized for its delayed handling of the relief operations following the storm, both by local political leaders in East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

 and in the international media. The opposition Awami League gained a landslide victory
Landslide victory
In politics, a landslide victory is the victory of a candidate or political party by an overwhelming margin in an election...

 in the province, and continuing unrest between East Pakistan and the central government triggered the Bangladesh Liberation War
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

, which concluded with the creation of the country of Bangladesh. This storm would also inspire ex-Beatle
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

 to organize The Concert for Bangladesh
The Concert for Bangladesh
The Concert for Bangladesh was the name for two benefit concerts organised by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, held at noon and at 7 PM on August 1, 1971, playing to a total of 40,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City...

, the prototype benefit concert
Benefit concert
A benefit concert or charity concert is a concert, show or gala featuring musicians, comedians, or other performers that is held for a charitable purpose, often directed at a specific and immediate humanitarian crisis. Such events raise both funds and public awareness to address the cause at...

, to raise money for aid, in 1971.

Meteorological history



The remnants of Tropical Storm Nora
1970 Pacific typhoon season
The 1970 Pacific typhoon season has no official bounds; it ran year-round in 1970, but most tropical cyclones tend to form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean between June and December...

 from the Pacific, which had lasted for two days in the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

, moved west over the Malay Peninsula
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

 on November 5. The remnants of this system contributed to the development of a new depression in the central Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
The Bay of Bengal , the largest bay in the world, forms the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean. It resembles a triangle in shape, and is bordered mostly by the Eastern Coast of India, southern coast of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to the west and Burma and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the...

 on the morning of November 8. The depression intensified as it moved slowly northward, and the India Meteorological Department
India Meteorological Department
The India Meteorological Department , also referred to as the Met Office, is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology...

 upgraded it to a cyclonic storm the next day. The storm became nearly stationary that evening near 14.5° N, 87° E, but began to accelerate to the north on November 10.

The hurricane intensified into a severe cyclonic storm on November 11 and began to turn towards the northeast as it approached the head of the bay. A clear eye
Eye (cyclone)
The eye is a region of mostly calm weather found at the center of strong tropical cyclones. The eye of a storm is a roughly circular area and typically 30–65 km in diameter. It is surrounded by the eyewall, a ring of towering thunderstorms where the second most severe weather of a cyclone...

 formed in the storm, and it reached its peak later that day with sustained winds of 185 km/h (115 mph) and a central pressure of 966 hPa
HPA
-Organizations:*Halifax Port Authority, a port authority in Canada*Hamburg Port Authority, the port authority for the Port of Hamburg, Germany*Health Protection Agency, a health organization in the United Kingdom...

, equivalent to that of a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
The Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale , or the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale , classifies hurricanes — Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms — into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds...

. The cyclone made landfall
Landfall (meteorology)
Landfall is the event of a tropical cyclone or a waterspout coming onto land after being over water. When a waterspout makes landfall it is reclassified as a tornado, which can then cause damage inland...

 on the East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

 coastline during the evening of November 12, around the same time as the local high tide
High Tide
High Tide was a band formed in 1969 by Tony Hill , Simon House , Peter Pavli and Roger Hadden .-History:...

. Once over land, the system began to weaken but was still considered a cyclonic storm on November 13 when it was about 100 km (62.1 mi) south-southeast of Agartala. The storm then rapidly weakened into a remnant area of low pressure over southern Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

 that evening.

Preparations


The Indian government received many ship reports from the Bay of Bengal that were giving meteorological information on the cyclone, but as Indo-Pakistani relations
Indo-Pakistani relations
Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained by a number of historical and political issues, and are defined by the violent partition of British India in 1947, the Kashmir dispute and the numerous military conflicts fought between the two nations...

 were generally hostile, the information was not passed on to the Pakistani government. A large part of the population was reportedly taken by surprise by the storm. There were indications that the storm warning system that existed in East Pakistan was not used properly, which may have cost tens of thousands of lives. The Pakistan Meteorological Department
Pakistan Meteorological Department
The Pakistan Meteorological Department, also known as Pak Met Office, is a Government of Pakistan organization which works under the Ministry of Defence...

 issued a report calling for "danger preparedness" in the coastal regions in danger during the day on November 12. As the storm neared the coast, a "great danger signal" was broadcast on Pakistan Radio. Survivors later said that this meant little to them, but that they had recognised a No. 1 warning signal as representing the greatest possible threat. It is estimated that 90% of the population in the area was aware of the cyclone before it hit, but only about 1% sought refuge in fortified structures.

Following two previously destructive cyclones in October 1960 which killed at least 16,000 people in East Pakistan, the Pakistani government contacted the American government for assistance in developing a system to avert future disasters. Gordon Dunn, the director of the National Hurricane Center
National Hurricane Center
The National Hurricane Center , located at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, is the division of the National Weather Service responsible for tracking and predicting weather systems within the tropics between the Prime Meridian and the 140th meridian west poleward to the 30th...

 at the time, carried out a detailed study and submitted his report in 1961. However, the government did not carry out all of the recommendations Dunn had listed.

Impact


The coast of the Bay of Bengal is particularly vulnerable to the effects of tropical cyclones, and there have been at least six cyclones to hit the region that killed over 100,000 people in total. The 1970 Bhola cyclone was not the most powerful of these, however; the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone
1991 Bangladesh cyclone
-External links:** from NIRAPAD disaster response organisation.**...

 was significantly stronger when it made landfall
Landfall (meteorology)
Landfall is the event of a tropical cyclone or a waterspout coming onto land after being over water. When a waterspout makes landfall it is reclassified as a tornado, which can then cause damage inland...

 in the same general area with 250 km/h (155.3 mph) winds, a high-end Category 4.

The 1970 cyclone is nonetheless the deadliest tropical cyclone
Tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

 on record and is one of the deadliest natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

s in recent history. The exact death toll
Death Toll
Death Toll is a 2008 action film starring DMX, Lou Diamond Phillips, Leila Arcieri and Keshia Knight Pulliam, written and produced by Daniel Garcia of the rap group Kane & Abel and directed by Phenomenon...

 will never be known, but it is estimated that between 300,000 and 500,000 people lost their lives. A comparable number of people died as a result of the 1976 Tangshan earthquake
1976 Tangshan earthquake
The Tangshan Earthquake also known as the Great Tangshan Earthquake, was a natural disaster that occurred on July 28, 1976. It is believed to be the largest earthquake of the 20th century by death toll. The epicenter of the earthquake was near Tangshan in Hebei, People's Republic of China, an...

 and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...

, but because of uncertainty in the number of deaths in all three disasters, it may never be known which one was the deadliest.

East Pakistan


The meteorological station in Chittagong
Chittagong
Chittagong ) is a city in southeastern Bangladesh and the capital of an eponymous district and division. Built on the banks of the Karnaphuli River, the city is home to Bangladesh's busiest seaport and has a population of over 4.5 million, making it the second largest city in the country.A trading...

, 95 km (59 mi) to the east of where the storm made landfall, recorded winds of 144 km/h (89.5 mph) before its anemometer
Anemometer
An anemometer is a device for measuring wind speed, and is a common weather station instrument. The term is derived from the Greek word anemos, meaning wind, and is used to describe any airspeed measurement instrument used in meteorology or aerodynamics...

 was blown off at about 2200 UTC. A ship anchored in the port in the same area recorded a peak gust of 222 km/h (137.9 mph) about 45 minutes later. As the storm made landfall, it caused a 10 metres (32.8 ft) high storm surge
Storm surge
A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically tropical cyclones and strong extratropical cyclones. Storm surges are caused primarily by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface. The wind causes the water to pile up higher than the ordinary sea...

 at the Ganges Delta
Ganges Delta
The Ganges Delta is a river delta in the South Asia region of Bengal, consisting of Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal, India. It is the world's largest delta, and empties into the Bay of Bengal...

. In the port at Chittagong, the storm tide
Storm tide
A storm tide is a tide with a high flood period caused by a storm. Storm tides can be a severe danger to the coast and the people living along the coast. The water level can rise to more than 5 meters above the normal tide....

 peaked at about 4 m (13.1 ft) above the average sea level, 1.2 m (3.9 ft) of which was the storm surge.

Pakistani radio reported that there were no survivors on the 13 islands near Chittagong. A flight over the area showed the devastation was complete throughout the southern half of Bhola Island, and the rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 crops of Bhola Island
Bhola Island
Bhola Island is the largest island of Bangladesh with an area of 1441 km². It is situated at the mouth of the Meghna River....

, Hatia Island
Hatia Island
Hatia Island is an island in the northern Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, at the mouth of the Meghna river. The island has an area of 371 km2. Other major offshore islands of this region are Bhola Island and Manpura Island. All of these islands are densely populated....

 and the nearby mainland coastline were destroyed. Several seagoing vessels in the ports of Chittagong and Mongla
Port of Mongla
- Overview :It was formerly located at Chalna, about 11 miles upstream on the Pusur River, but it is now located 48 km south of Khulna city, as established in 1954. The port is situated at the confluence of the Pashur River and the Mongla River...

 were reported damaged, and the airports at Chittagong and Cox's Bazar
Cox's Bazar
Cox's Bazar is a town, a fishing port and district headquarters in Bangladesh. It is known for its wide sandy beach which is the world's longest natural sandy sea beach. It is an unbroken 125 km sandy sea beach with a gentle slope. It is located 150 km south of Chittagong. Cox’s Bazar...

 were under 1 m (3.3 ft) of water for several hours.

Over 3.6 million people were directly affected by the cyclone, and the total damage from the storm was estimated at $86.4 million (1970 USD, $450 million 2006 USD). The survivors claimed that approximately 85% of homes in the area were destroyed or severely damaged, with the greatest destruction occurring along the coast. Ninety percent of marine fishermen in the region suffered heavy losses, including the destruction of 9,000 offshore fishing boats. Of the 77,000 onshore fishermen, 46,000 were killed by the cyclone, and 40% of the survivors were affected severely. In total, approximately 65% of the fishing capacity of the coastal region was destroyed by the storm, in a region where about 80% of the protein consumed comes from fish. Agricultural damage was similarly severe with the loss of $63 million worth of crops and 280,000 cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

. Three months after the storm, 75% of the population was receiving food from relief workers, and over 150,000 relied upon aid for half of their food.

India


The cyclone brought widespread rain to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with very heavy rain falling in places on November 8 and November 9. Port Blair
Port Blair
Port Blair is the largest town and a municipal council in Andaman district in the Andaman Islands and the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory of India...

 recorded 130 mm (5.1 in) of rain on November 8, and there were a number of floods on the islands. The MV Mahajagmitra, a 5,500-ton freighter en route from Calcutta to Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, was sunk by the storm on November 12, with the loss of all 50 people on board. The ship sent out a distress signal and reported experiencing hurricane-force winds before it sank. There was also widespread rain in West Bengal
West Bengal
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

 and southern Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

. The rain caused damage to housing and crops in both India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n states, with the worst damage occurring in the southernmost districts.

Death toll


Two medical relief surveys were carried out by the Pakistan-SEATO Cholera Research Laboratory: the first in November and the second in February and March. The purpose of the first survey was to establish the immediate medical needs in the affected regions, and the second, more detailed, survey was designed as the basis for long-term relief and recovery planning. In the second survey, approximately 1.4% of the area's population was studied.

The first survey concluded that the surface water in most of the affected regions had a comparable salt content to that drawn from wells, except in Sudharam
Noakhali Sadar Upazila
Noakhali Sadar is an Upazila of Noakhali District in the Division of Chittagong, Bangladesh.-Geography:Noakhali Sadar is located at . It has 115330 units of house hold and total area 1071.66 km².-Demographics:...

, where the water was almost undrinkable with a salt content of up to 0.5%. The mortality
Mortality rate
Mortality rate is a measure of the number of deaths in a population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit time...

 was estimated at 14.2%—equivalent to a death toll of 240,000. Cyclone-related morbidity was generally restricted to minor injuries, but a phenomenon dubbed "cyclone syndrome" was observed. This consisted of severe abrasions on the limbs and chest caused by survivors clinging to trees to withstand the storm surge. Initially, there were fears of an outbreak of cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 and typhoid fever
Typhoid fever
Typhoid fever, also known as Typhoid, is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi...

 in the weeks following the storm, but the survey found no evidence of an epidemic of cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

, smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 or any other disease in the region affected by the storm.

The totals from the second survey were likely a considerable underestimate as several groups were not included. The 100,000 migrant workers who were collecting the rice harvest, families who were completely wiped out by the storm and those who had migrated out of the region in the three months were not included, and by excluding these groups, the risk of hearsay and exaggeration was reduced. The survey concluded that the overall death toll was, at minimum, 224,000. The worst effects were felt in Tazumuddin
Tazumuddin Upazila
Tazumuddin is an Upazila of Bhola District in the Division of Barisal, Bangladesh.-Geography:Tazumuddin is located at . It has 20,444 units of house hold and total area 512.92 km².-Demographics:...

, where the mortality was 46.3%, corresponding to approximately 77,000 deaths in that Thana alone. The mean mortality throughout the affected region was 16.5%.

The results showed that the highest survival rate was for adult males aged 15–49, while more than half the deaths were children under ten, who only formed a third of the pre-cyclone population. This suggests that the young, old and sick were selectively lost in the cyclone and its surge. In the months after the storm, the mortality of the middle-aged was lower in the cyclone area than in the control
Scientific control
Scientific control allows for comparisons of concepts. It is a part of the scientific method. Scientific control is often used in discussion of natural experiments. For instance, during drug testing, scientists will try to control two groups to keep them as identical and normal as possible, then...

 region, near Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

. This reflected the elimination of the less healthy individuals during the storm.

Government response



The day after the storm struck the coast, three Pakistani gunboats and a hospital ship carrying medical personnel and supplies left Chittagong
Chittagong
Chittagong ) is a city in southeastern Bangladesh and the capital of an eponymous district and division. Built on the banks of the Karnaphuli River, the city is home to Bangladesh's busiest seaport and has a population of over 4.5 million, making it the second largest city in the country.A trading...

 for the islands of Hatia
Hatia
Hatia is a small town and railway station in Ranchi district, Jharkhand, India. It is adjacent to Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand. One of the premier technical institutions in the field of Metallurgical engineering, the National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology, is situated here. Hatia...

, Sandwip
Sandwip
Sandwip is an island along the south eastern coast of Bangladesh.It is also spelled "Sandvip" both are mostly used.It is a sub-division of Chittagong District. It is situated at the estuary of the Meghna River on the Bay of Bengal and separated from the Chittagong coast by the Sandwip channel. It...

 and Kutubdia. Teams from the Pakistani army reached many of the stricken areas in the two days following the landfall of the cyclone. Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

i President Yahya Khan
Yahya Khan
General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan Qizilbash, H.Pk, HJ, S.Pk, psc was the third President of Pakistan from 1969 to 1971, following the resignation of Ayub Khan...

 returned from a state visit to China and overflew the disaster area on November 16. The president ordered "no effort to be spared" to relieve the victims. He also ordered that all flags should be flown at half-mast and announced a day of national mourning on November 21, a week after the cyclone struck land.

In the ten days following the cyclone, one military transport aircraft and three crop-dusting aircraft were assigned to relief work by the Pakistani government. The Pakistani government said it was unable to transfer military helicopters from West Pakistan as the Indian government did not grant clearance to cross the intervening Indian territory, a charge the Indian government denied. By November 24, the Pakistani government had allocated a further $116 million to finance relief operations in the disaster area. Yahya Khan arrived in Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

 to take charge of the relief operations on November 24. The governor of East Pakistan, Vice Admiral S. M. Ahsan, denied charges that the armed forces had not acted quickly enough and said supplies were reaching all parts of the disaster area except for some small pockets.

A week after the cyclone's landfall, President Khan conceded that his government had made "slips" and "mistakes" in its handling of the relief efforts. He said there was a lack of understanding of the magnitude of the disaster. He also said that the general election slated for December 7 would take place on time, although eight or nine of the worst affected districts might experience delays, denying rumours that the election would be postponed.

As the conflict between East and West Pakistan developed in March, the Dhaka offices of the two government organisations directly involved in relief efforts were closed for at least two weeks, first by a general strike
General strike
A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region, or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants...

 and then by a ban on government work in East Pakistan by the Awami League. Relief work continued in the field, but the long-term planning was curtailed.

Criticism of government response



Political leaders in East Pakistan were deeply critical of the central government's initial response to the disaster. A statement released by eleven political leaders in East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

 ten days after the cyclone hit charged the government with "gross neglect, callous indifference and utter indifference". They also accused the president of playing down the news coverage. On November 19, students held a march in Dhaka in protest of the speed of the government response, and Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani
Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani
Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani was a popular political leader in Pakistan and Bangladesh, a rural based self-educated person.Abdu Hamid Khan Bhashani, born in 1880 in Dhangara, Bangladesh), was the son of Haji Sharafat Ali Khan. He gained immense popularity among peasants...

 addressed a rally of 50,000 people on November 24, when he accused the president of inefficiency and demanded his resignation. The president's political opponents accused him of bungling the efforts and some demanded his resignation.

The Pakistan Red Crescent began to operate independently of the government as the result of a dispute that arose after the Red Crescent took possession of 20 rafts donated by the British Red Cross
British Red Cross
The British Red Cross Society is the United Kingdom branch of the worldwide impartial humanitarian organisation the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The society was formed in 1870, and is a registered charity with over 31,000 volunteers and 2,600 staff. At the heart of their work...

. A pesticide company had to wait two days before it received permission for two of its crop dusters, which were already in the country, to carry out supply drops in the affected regions. The Pakistani government only deployed a single helicopter to relief operations, with Yahya Khan
Yahya Khan
General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan Qizilbash, H.Pk, HJ, S.Pk, psc was the third President of Pakistan from 1969 to 1971, following the resignation of Ayub Khan...

 later stating that there was no point deploying any helicopters from West Pakistan as they were unable to carry supplies.

A reporter for the Pakistan Observer
Pakistan Observer
The Pakistan Observer is an English-language daily newspaper published in Islamabad, Pakistan.-Circulation and publication:Although not in the league of Dawn or The News International  – Pakistan's two other widely read English-language newspapers – it is popular among its...

spent a week in the worst hit areas in early January and saw none of the tents supplied by relief agencies being used to house survivors and commented that the grants for building new houses were insufficient. The Pakistan Observer regularly carried front page stories with headlines like "No Relief Coordination", whilst publishing government statements saying "Relief operations are going smoothly." In January, the coldest period of the year in East Pakistan, the National Relief and Rehabilitation Committee, headed by the editor of Ittefaq, said thousands of survivors from the storm were "passing their days under [the] open sky". A spokesman said families who were made homeless by the cyclone were receiving up to 250 rupees ($ 55 (1971 figure), $ 279 (2007 figure)) to rebuild, but that resources were scarce and he feared the survivors would "eat the cash".

Political consequences



The Awami League, the largest political party in East Pakistan, headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, swept to a landslide victory in the national elections in December 1970, in part because of dissatisfaction over failure of the relief efforts by the national government. The elections for nine national assembly and eighteen provincial assembly seats had to be postponed until January 18 as a result of the storm.

The government's handling of the relief efforts helped exacerbate the bitterness felt in East Pakistan, swelling the resistance movement there. Funds only slowly got through, and transport was slow in bringing supplies to the devastated regions. As tensions increased in March, foreign personnel evacuated because of fears of violence. The situation deteriorated further and developed into the Bangladesh Liberation War
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

 in March. This conflict widened into the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military conflict between India and Pakistan. Indian, Bangladeshi and international sources consider the beginning of the war to be Operation Chengiz Khan, Pakistan's December 3, 1971 pre-emptive strike on 11 Indian airbases...

 in December and concluded with the creation of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. This is one of the first times that a natural event helped to trigger a civil war.

International response


India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 became one of the first nations to offer aid to Pakistan, despite the generally poor relations
Indo-Pakistani relations
Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained by a number of historical and political issues, and are defined by the violent partition of British India in 1947, the Kashmir dispute and the numerous military conflicts fought between the two nations...

 between the two countries, and by the end of November had pledged $1.3 million (1970 USD, $6.9 million 2007 USD) of assistance for the relief efforts. The Pakistani government refused to allow the Indians to send supplies into East Pakistan by air, forcing them to be transported slowly by road instead. The Indian government also said that the Pakistanis refused an offer of military aircraft, helicopters and boats from West Bengal
West Bengal
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

 to assist in the relief operation.

US President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 allocated a $10 million (1970 USD, $53 million 2007 USD) grant to provide food and other essential relief to the survivors of the storm, and the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan pledged that he would "assist the East Pakistan government in every way feasible." The American government also sent a number of blankets, tents and other supplies. Six helicopters, two helicopters at an aid mission in Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 and four from the United States, were sent to East Pakistan. Some 200,000 tons of wheat were shipped from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to the stricken region. By the end of November, there were 38 helicopters operating in the disaster area, ten of which were British and ten American. The Americans had provided about 50 small boats and the British 70 for supply distribution.

CARE
CARE (relief)
CARE is a broad-spectrum secular relief, humanitarian, and development non-governmental organization fighting global poverty. It is non-political, non-sectarian and operates annually in more than 70 countries across the globe.One of the organization’s primary focuses in its fight to eradicate...

 halted aid shipments to the country the week after the cyclone hit, because of unwillingness to let the Pakistani government handle distribution. However, by January, they had reached an agreement to construct 24,000 cement brick houses at a cost of about $1.2 million (1971 USD, $6.1 million 2007 USD). American concerns about delays by the Pakistani government in determining how the relief should be used meant that $7.5 million (1970 USD, $39.7 million 2007 USD) of relief granted by the US Congress had not been handed over in March. Much of the money was earmarked to be spent on constructing cyclone shelters and rebuilding housing. The American Peace Corps
Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is an American volunteer program run by the United States Government, as well as a government agency of the same name. The mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand US culture, and helping...

 offered to send volunteers but were rebuffed by the Pakistani government.

A Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 task force
Task force
A task force is a unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity. Originally introduced by the United States Navy, the term has now caught on for general usage and is a standard part of NATO terminology...

, centred on HMS Intrepid
HMS Intrepid (L11)
HMS Intrepid was one of two Fearless class amphibious warfare ships of the Royal Navy. A Landing Platform Dock , she served from 1967 until 1999...

and HMS Triumph
HMS Triumph (R16)
HMS Triumph was a Royal Navy Colossus-class light fleet aircraft carrier. She served in the Korean War and later, after reconstruction, as a support ship.-Construction and commission:...

, left Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 for the Bay of Bengal to assist with the relief efforts. They carried eight helicopters and eight landing craft, as well as rescue teams and supplies. Fifty soldiers and two helicopters were flown in ahead of the ships to survey the disaster area and bring relief work. The British task force arrived off the Pakistan coast on November 24, and the 650 troops aboard the ships immediately began using landing craft
Landing craft
Landing craft are boats and seagoing vessels used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. Most renowned are those used to storm the beaches of Normandy, the Mediterranean, and many Pacific islands during WWII...

 to deliver supplies to offshore islands. An appeal by the British Disasters Emergency Committee
Disasters Emergency Committee
The Disasters Emergency Committee is an umbrella group comprising fourteen UK charities. These charities are all associated with disaster related issues such as providing clean water, humanitarian aid and medical care....

 raised about £1.5 million (1970 GBP
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

, £33 million 2005 GBP) for disaster relief in East Pakistan.

The Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 government pledged $2 million of assistance. France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 sent both helicopters and various supplies worth $1.3 million. Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

 announced that he would visit Dhaka during a visit to the Far East and urged people to pray for the victims of the disaster. The Vatican later contributed $100,000 to the relief efforts. By the start of 1971, four Soviet helicopters were still operating in the region transporting essential supplies to hard-hit areas. The Soviet aircraft, which had drawn criticism from Bengalis
Bengali people
The Bengali people are an ethnic community native to the historic region of Bengal in South Asia. They speak Bengali , which is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit and Sanskrit languages. In their native language, they are referred to as বাঙালী...

, replaced the British and American helicopters that had operated immediately after the cyclone.

The government of Singapore sent a military medical mission to East Pakistan which arrived at Chittagong on December 1. They were then deployed to Sandwip
Sandwip
Sandwip is an island along the south eastern coast of Bangladesh.It is also spelled "Sandvip" both are mostly used.It is a sub-division of Chittagong District. It is situated at the estuary of the Meghna River on the Bay of Bengal and separated from the Chittagong coast by the Sandwip channel. It...

 where they treated nearly 27,000 people and carried out a smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 vaccination effort. The mission returned to Singapore on December 22, after bringing about $50,000 worth of medical supplies and 15 tons of food for the victims of the storm. The Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese cabinet approved a total of $1.65 million of relief funds in December. The Japanese government had previously drawn criticism for only donating a small amount to relief work. The first shipment of Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 supplies to East Pakistan was a planeload of 500,000 doses of cholera vaccine, which was not necessary as the country had adequate stocks. The Chinese government sent $1.2 million in cash to Pakistan. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

 declared that the disaster was also an Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

ian one and responded by sending two planeloads of supplies within a few days of the cyclone striking. Many smaller, poorer Asian nations sent nominal amounts of aid.

The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 donated $2.1 million in food and cash, whilst UNICEF began a drive to raise a further million. UNICEF helped to re-establish water supplies in the wake of the storm, repairing over 11,000 wells in the months following the storm. UN Secretary-General U Thant
U Thant
U Thant was a Burmese diplomat and the third Secretary-General of the United Nations, from 1961 to 1971. He was chosen for the post when his predecessor, Dag Hammarskjöld, died in September 1961....

 made appeals for aid for the victims of the cyclone and the civil war in August, in two separate relief programs. He said only about $4 million had been contributed towards immediate needs, well short of the target of $29.2 million. By the end of November, the League of Red Cross Societies had collected $3.5 million to supply aid to the victims of the disaster.

The World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 estimated that it would cost $185 million to reconstruct the area devastated by the storm. The bank drew up a comprehensive recovery plan for the Pakistani government. The plan included restoring housing, water supplies and infrastructure to their pre-storm state. It was designed to combine with a much larger ongoing flood-control and development program. The Bank provided $25 million of credit to help rebuild the East Pakistan economy and to construct protective shelters in the region. This was the first time that the IDA
International Development Association
The International Development Association , is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. It complements the World Bank's other lending arm — the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development — which serves middle-income countries with capital investment and...

 had provided credit for reconstruction. By the start of December, nearly $40 million had been raised for the relief efforts by the governments of 41 countries, organisations and private groups.

The Concert for Bangladesh



In 1971, ex-Beatle
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

 was inspired to organize The Concert for Bangladesh
The Concert for Bangladesh
The Concert for Bangladesh was the name for two benefit concerts organised by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, held at noon and at 7 PM on August 1, 1971, playing to a total of 40,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City...

, in part from the 1970 Bhola Cyclone, and from the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities
1971 Bangladesh atrocities
Beginning with the start of Operation Searchlight on 25 March 1971 and continuing throughout the Bangladesh Liberation War, there were widespread violations of human rights in East Pakistan perpetrated by the Pakistan Army, with support from local political and religious militias, especially...

 and Bangladesh Liberation War
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

. Although it was the first benefit concert
Benefit concert
A benefit concert or charity concert is a concert, show or gala featuring musicians, comedians, or other performers that is held for a charitable purpose, often directed at a specific and immediate humanitarian crisis. Such events raise both funds and public awareness to address the cause at...

 of its type, it was vastly successful in raising money, aid, and awareness for the region's plight.

Disaster preparedness


In December, the League of Red Cross Societies drafted a plan for immediate use should a comparable event to the cyclone hit other "disaster prone countries". A Red Cross official stated some of the relief workers sent to East Pakistan were poorly trained, and the organisation would compile a list of specialists. The UN General Assembly adopted a proposal to improve its ability to provide aid to disaster-stricken countries.

In 1966, the Red Crescent began to support the development of a cyclone warning system, which developed into a Cyclone Preparedness Programme in 1972, today run by the Government of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society
Bangladesh Red Crescent Society
Bangladesh Red Crescent Society was established in 1973. It has its headquarters in Dhaka.-External links:**...

. The programme's objectives are to raise public awareness of the risks of cyclones and to provide training to emergency personnel in the coastal regions of Bangladesh.

In the 30 years after the 1970 cyclone, over 200 cyclone shelters were constructed in the coastal regions of Bangladesh. When the next destructive cyclone
1991 Bangladesh cyclone
-External links:** from NIRAPAD disaster response organisation.**...

 approached the country in 1991, volunteers from the Cyclone Preparedness Programme warned people of the cyclone two to three days before it struck land. Over 350,000 people fled their homes to shelters and other brick structures, whilst others sought high ground. While the 1991 cyclone killed over 138,000 people, this was significantly less than the 1970 storm, partly because of the warnings sent out by the Cyclone Preparedness Programme. However, the 1991 storm was significantly more destructive, causing 1.5 billion dollars in damage (2 billion inflation-adjusted) compared to the 1970 storm's 86.4 million dollars in damage (inflation-adjusted: 480 million).

See also


  • List of tropical cyclones
  • 1991 Bangladesh cyclone
    1991 Bangladesh cyclone
    -External links:** from NIRAPAD disaster response organisation.**...

  • Storm surge
    Storm surge
    A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically tropical cyclones and strong extratropical cyclones. Storm surges are caused primarily by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface. The wind causes the water to pile up higher than the ordinary sea...

  • List of Bangladesh tropical cyclones

External links