Hurricanes are a cyclonic low pressure system that commonly originates between 5 and 15 degrees latitude in the tropics during specific weather and temperature conditions. The hurricanes that occur in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean are often called tropical cyclones, while in other areas they are called typhoons. These storms have a sustained wind speed of at least 74 miles per hour and can cause huge amounts of damage to coastal property and threaten many lives. These storms can be up to hundreds of miles across and last for many days. One major distinguishing feature of the storm is the eye, which is a low pressure area of sinking cool air that the storm rotates around. Tropical cyclones are rated on the Saffir Simpson scale according to their strength of their winds. A category 1 hurricane has the lowest wind speeds while the category 5 has the strongest.
Bangladesh is a country in Southern Asia that is referred as a “the nation born of a cyclone.” This country is located on the largest delta region in the world on a bowl shaped alluvial plain that is rests between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. Much of this country is only a few feet about sea level. Because of its geographical location and other factors, it is often a frequent target for several natural disasters including tornadoes, floods, and tropical cyclones. The country is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and also one of the poorest. The local people scratch out a living primarily on the farming of jute and other agriculture products that grow on this prime region.
The 1991 cyclone was the most devastating one to hit this country since 1970. This storm hit at high tide and had wind speed of 225 km/hr and a resulting storm surge of over 20 feet high. The low elevation of much of coastal Bangladesh allowed this surge to reach extremely far inland and cause much damage. Increased weather prediction and warning systems have since increased, but Bangladesh still remains a country very vulnerable to these disasters and loss of life.