1970 Bhola Cyclone


“Although cyclones of similar strength had hit the region historically, the fact that the event occurred during high tide significantly raised the storm surge to an about 2O feet. Since most of the area is very low-lying, most of the deaths were the result of the storm surge, which tore through buildings while many people were still sleeping.

Those who were not killed in their sleep or slept away to sea climbed trees to avoid drowning, where many encountered poisonous snakes. Survivors were afflicted with what has been referred to as 'cyclone syndrome', which describes the severe abrasions that people's bodies suffered as a result of clinging to trees.

In the aftermath of the cyclone, 65% of fishing vessels had been destroyed and 77,OOO fisherman died, hundreds of thousands of livestock animals were lost, and about a million acres of rice crops were destroyed, leading 75% of the population to rely upon international aid to survive the coming months.”

Excerpt from my report on the 197O Bhola Cyclone