Inside the cyclone season that battered millions for months killing 20,000

Over 20,000 people died in one of the most relentless and savage cyclone seasons on record.

In 1960, North India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were pounded by five cyclonic storms, two of which were severe, causing what today would be the equivalent of around £150million in damage.

In total, 15 weather depressions formed – the foundations for a cyclone – with those that did develop going on to pound the Bay of Bengal.

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The two worst storms came one after another.

Storm number nine blew in from across China and South Vietnam and was classified as a severe cyclonic storm on October 9 of that year, seeing winds peak at around 95mph.

After crossing the land it began to direct towards East Pakistan – here it caused its most catastrophic damage.

A 19ft tidal wave clattered the land, devastating communication systems and preventing officials from finding out how bad the situation was and arranging a sufficient response.

It destroyed around 35,000 homes and on Ramgati Island claimed the lives of 3,500 people, destroying around 95% of the structures on it.

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In total, the cyclone killed around 6,000 people – but the worst was yet to come, and only less than a month later.

The most destructive and deadly of the depressions is known as number 10, which saw winds upwards of 90mph that battered the land on October 26, with some estimates claiming speeds reached 135mph.

It smashed into East Pakistan, just three weeks after the previous storm had caused devastation in the country.

It produced a 20ft high storm tide that swamped inland 10 miles causing mass devastation.

After the surge, a series of tidal waves went on to batter the land with some offshore waves thought to have reached heights of 40ft.

The city ofChittagongwas one of the hardest hit areas – it was inundated with 10ft of water, the city’s port was destroyed with all the boats there washed ashore. Some were found 10 miles inland.

Sandwip Island had some winds claimed to be as fast as 150mph and saw buildings obliterated and scattered into the distance – some crops appeared ‘burnt’ because of the raw power and speed of the wind.

In this storm alone, 14,174 people were killed and 200,000 were left homeless.

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