This Day in History: Massive Cyclone Claims Thousands in Odisha, India (October 29th, 1999)

Earlier in 2013, a typhoon named Phailin made landfall in India. While damaging and deadly to some, a previous tropical system was much more so in the same region on this day in 1999.

After forming on October 25th, 1999, Cyclone 5B gained strength in the Indian Ocean. It would later have winds of 160 miles per hour—the equivalent of a Category 5 Hurricane in the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific ocean. This, combined with a barometric pressure reading of 912 millibars, makes it the strongest tropical cyclone to form in the North Indian Ocean in modern times.

Thousands were evacuated in parts of India as the storm loomed closer to that country's state of Odisha. The storm brought it with it flooding rains, devastating winds and a massive storm surge. Hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed, and nearly ten thousand people were killed in India and Myanmar by the devastation. Crops and cattle in impoverished regions were crippled as well.


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