Segments in this Video

North Indian Cyclone Basin (02:49)


Cyclones are destructive circular winds that create tidal waves and wreck havoc. Some of the most devastating cyclones have affected Bangladesh.

1999 Odisha Cyclone (01:49)

This storm hit India and wrecked havoc for two days, causing immense damage. Relief was slow to the area, which caused the death toll to continue to rise. India refused to declare a national emergency.

Cyclone Formation (03:12)

Cyclones form over warm water and gain strength as they travel across the sea. The Saffir-Simpson Scale, developed for hurricanes, is used to study cyclones. Scientists know which areas are prone to cyclones, but cannot predict when they will occur.

Cyclone Warnings (02:43)

Cyclones are undetectable until they move, and then they are only recognized if a boat or a plane is near. They can be seen on weather satellites and Doppler radar.

Bhola Cyclone (03:57)

View a political map of the area hit by this 1970 cyclone; follow its progress and the scale of destruction. The Pakistani government led by General Yahya Khan was criticized for its handling of relief operations following the storm.

Indian Government Offers Aid (02:21)

The Pakistani government was reluctant to accept international relief after the cyclone. This was the final straw in a long conflict, and East Pakistan declared independence as the People's Republic of Bangladesh, which lead to a bloody civil war.

Cyclone Tracy (03:44)

Warnings were issued for other areas, but not for the city of Darwin. This 1974 storm curved into the city and destroyed a majority of the buildings.

Cyclone Tracy Response (02:19)

When the news of the destruction reached the outside world there was an immediate emergency evacuation of the city. The prime minister started the Darwin Reconstruction Commission to rebuild the area.

Cyclone Marian (03:20)

A warning was issued a few hours before this 1991 cyclone hit Bangledesh, but many stayed in their homes. This storm created destruction throughout the coastline, but the brunt of the storm hit the industrial city of Chittagong.

Cyclone Marian Relief Efforts (02:59)

Operation Sea Angel was created and many of the world powers worked together to bring relief and necessary supplies to the affected areas.

Cyclone Nargis (03:25)

This 2008 cyclone hit Myanmar and caused destruction throughout the Irrawaddy Delta Region. Rice crops were destroyed when sewage mains broke. The government appealed for help from the United Nations, but only on Myanmar's terms.

Aid Efforts Blocked (02:55)

After the Cyclone Nargis , international relief workers tried to enter Burma but the Burmese government mandated visas for every aid worker, delaying assistance. Supplies accumulated in the Yangon airport.

Aid Workers Given Limited Access (03:57)

The junta continued to block aid efforts 9 days after the cyclone, but limited access was eventually given. The USS Essex waited outside of Myanmar ready to help, but were never let in.

Cyclone Nargis Response (01:05)

International aid was unprecedented, with many countries helped by providing not only supplies, but also millions of dollars.

Cyclone Sidr (01:38)

Bangladesh was better prepared in 2007 and when this cyclone was detected the government issued a warning and evacuations were executed, resulting in a lower death toll, though many villages were destroyed.

Conclusion: Killer Cyclones: The World's Worst Disasters (01:45)

Bangladesh will always be vulnerable to cyclones because of its proximity to the Bay of Bengal. New warning systems and cyclone shelters are in place, but more will be needed.

Credits: Killer Cyclones: The World's Worst Disasters (00:40)

Credits: Killer Cyclones: The World's Worst Disasters

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Killer Cyclones: The World's Worst Disasters

Part of the Series : The World's Worst Disasters
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Cyclones, also known as hurricanes, are said to take more lives in the Tropics than any other kind of natural disaster. In mid-November 1970, a massive cyclone swept in off the Bay of Bengal. It tore into the poverty-stricken country of Bangladesh (then known as East Pakistan) causing death and destruction on an unprecedented scale. Twenty-one years later, in April 1991, Bangladesh was hit by yet another great cyclone. Bangladesh is hit by at least once a year by a major cyclone. In May 2008, more than 140,000 people perished when Myanmar (previously known as Burma) was overwhelmed by a great cyclone. It would turn out to be Myanmar’s worst-ever natural disaster. The country’s repressive military government refused to accept any overseas help, leading to the accusation that it was turning a horrific natural disaster into a man-made catastrophe. A BBC Production.

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL95244

ISBN: 978-1-68272-436-1

Copyright date: ©2008

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