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Cyclone Idai

The cause, primary and secondary effects and immediate and long term responses to Cyclone Idai

Cyclones are tropical storms that occur in the Indian Ocean. Cyclone Idai is the strongest tropical cyclone on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere.

Cyclone Idai satellite image

Cyclone Idai satellite image

What caused Cyclone Idai?

In early March 2019, a storm cell brought heavy rains to Malawi before heading out to sea off the coast of Mozambique. The storm intensified into Cyclone Idai and returned to land on the evening of 14th March 2019. Often, storms that develop there don’t strengthen as much as those that form north and east of Madagascar, but Cyclone Idai was fed by warm water temperatures. The storm, with winds of up to 115 mph/185 kph and more than 150mm of rain in 24 hours, wreaked havoc in the Mozambique port city of Beira, home to 500,000 people, along with surrounding districts. It then swept inland and on to Zimbabwe. The storm caused widespread devastation and the loss of life and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands more people.

Location of Cyclone Idai

The location of Cyclone Idai

March 3 2019

Tropical disturbance forms.

The tropical disturbance that would become Cyclone Idai develops and begins to strengthen near the coast of Africa.

March 5th 2019

Heavy rains cause severe flooding across Mozambique and Malawi.

March 11 2019

Tropical depression.

Now a tropical depression, the storm becomes more intense between coastal  Africa and Madagascar. 

March 14-15 2019

Tropical cyclone idai makes landfall.

Tropical Cyclone Idai makes landfall near Beira, Mozambique, as a Category 2 storm with sustained winds exceeding 105 mph.

March 20 2019

Heavy rain continues.

Heavy rains continue along with search and rescue operations and damage assessments.

March 21 to 27

Aid response.

Governments and humanitarian aid agencies begin responding with life-saving relief supplies to the affected areas.

Search called off

The Mozambique government calls off the search for survivors of Cyclone Idai.

Cholera Cases

Cholera cases in Mozambique top 1,400, according to health officials.

What were the effects?

Flooding in Southern Africa has affected nearly 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe since the rain began in early March and Cyclone Idai struck March 14 and 15. The death toll has exceeded 843 people, and many more remain missing. Over 1 million people were displaced by the storm.

It was not just heavy rainfall that led to flooding, storm surges between 3.5m to 4m hit the coastal city of Beira. The ocean floor along the coast by Mozambique is conducive to give storm surges.

The image below shows the area around Beira before and after the cyclone.

According to the Red Cross, up to 90% of Beira, Mozambique’s fourth largest city, has been damaged or destroyed. The devastated city became an island amid the flooded area with communications, power and clean water severely disrupted or non-existent. Houses, roads and crops disappeared beneath the water that was six metres (19ft) deep in places. Rescuers struggling to reach survivors who may have spent up to a week sheltering on roofs and in trees. A woman gave birth in a mango tree while escaping floods in central Mozambique.

The coastal lowlands, located between the higher plateau and the mountainous areas to the west near the Zimbabwean border were the hardest hit by the floods.

At least 180 people in Zimbabwe known to have been killed by landslides triggered by Idai. Nasa satellite images depict the extensive landslide activity associated with Cyclone Idai . The landslides were partly caused by deforestation.

People were still being rescued a week and a half after the storm.

As flood waters receded, survivors struggled to obtain food, clean water, and shelter.

According to the World Bank the cyclone affected about 3 million people, damaging infrastructure and livelihoods. Unicef reported that over half of the 3 million people in urgent need of humanitarian help were children.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says that Cyclone Idai wiped out a whole year’s worth of crops across swathes of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. At least 1 million acres of crops were destroyed.

The cyclone is expected to cost Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe more than $2bn, the World Bank has said.

Cholera infected at least 1,052 people in Mozambique’s cyclone-hit region.

What was the immediate response?

As part of the forward planning for severe weather, safe zones had been created in rural areas of Mozambique for evacuation above the flood plain . However, the flooding was far worse than had been expected.

The meteorological office of Mozambique, Inam, issued weather alerts as the storm developed. The highest possible alert was raised by the government three days before the cyclone struck, telling people to evacuate threatened areas.

Some people were evacuated by boat before the cyclone struck, however many people in rural areas didn’t respond to the warnings or were not aware of them.

According to the mayor of the Mozambican city of Beira, the government failed to warn people in the areas worst hit by Cyclone Idai despite a “red alert” being issued two days before it struck.

The South African air force and the Indian army, which happened to have a ship in the area, drove the initial rescue effort. Opposition groups in Mozambique blamed the limited government preparation and response on corruption.

Last year, the government of Mozambique received support from international donors for a disaster fund of $18.3m (£13.9m) for 2018 and 2019. This is the main source of funding for any disaster response and is intended specifically for search and rescue within the first 72 hours.

More than 130,000 newly homeless people were taken into reception centres.

Two weeks after the disaster 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccines arrived in the cyclone-battered Beira city, from the global stockpile for an emergency, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

As flood waters receded the International Committee of the Red Cross supported flood-affected communities to recover bodies, identify them and bury them in clearly marked graves.

The Mozambique government announced the search and rescue operation to find survivors from Cyclone Idai was over two weeks after the storm.

With the help of OpenStreetMap – an open-source mapping resource – thousands of volunteers worldwide digitised satellite imagery and created maps of the affected area to support ground workers. Through the Missing Maps Project , an army of arm-chair mappers has already mapped more than 200,000 buildings and nearly 17,000 km of roads in the affected areas.

A large number of international charities launched appeals to fund aid to support those affected by Cyclone Idai including The Red Cross, Unicef, DEC, CAFOD and MSF (Doctors Without Borders).

What was the long term response?

Two weeks after the storm the government of Mozambique announced a new phase in the recovery operation was beginning to help those affected and rebuild the education, health, energy, transport, industry and trade sectors, which were all devastated by the cyclone.

The UN has appealed for donations of $282m to fund emergency assistance for the next three months.

Useful Resources

NASA Products for Cyclone Idai 2019

Virtual OSOCC Tropical Cyclone Idai in Mozambique

Virtual OSOCC Tropical Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe

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Study report on gaja cyclone 2018.

  • Govt. India


Preview of Study-Report-Gaja-Cyclone-2018.pdf

Executive Summary

Tamil Nadu is historically one of the most vulnerable States to tropical cyclone. The total geographical area of Tamil Nadu is 13 Million hectares and it has a coastline of 1,076 km which is about 15% of the coastline of India. The State is multi-hazard prone, the major natural hazards being Cyclonic storms, Urban and Rural floods, and periodic Droughts. Some of the tropical cyclones that hit Tamil Nadu are Gaja (2018), Ockhi (2017), Vardha (2016), Nilam (2012), Thane (2011), Jal (2010) and Nisha (2008).

Severe Cyclonic Storm Gaja originated as a low-pressure system over the Gulf of Thailand. The weak system intensified into a depression over the Bay of Bengal on November 10 and further intensified to a cyclonic storm on November 11, being classified 'Gaja'. Cyclone Gaja made landfall in South India, at Vedaranyam, Tamil Nadu. At the time of landfall of the cyclone, 100-120 kmph speed was experienced. The highest sustained speed was recorded in Adhirampattinam at 165 kmph and 160 kmph at Muthupet. The cyclone Gaja affected 08 districts of Tamil Nadu, namely, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Pudukottai, Karaikal, Cuddalore, Trichy and Ramanathapuram.

To build upon the learning of Cyclone “Gaja” and to document the lessons learnt and best practices, the present study was undertaken with the following objectives:

The objectives of this study were as follows:

• To critically analyze the role of disaster managers in the management of Cyclone Gaja with special reference to early warning, preparedness, impact, response, and community preparedness.

• To assess the impact of Cyclone Gaja on the infrastructure, services, and communities.

• To study the measures undertaken by the Central Government, State Governments and District Administrations to reduce the mortality and impact of cyclones in the State of Tamil Nadu.

• To document the best practices undertaken during the management of Cyclone Gaja.

• Suggest evidence-based recommendations for better management of Cyclones in the future.

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Local sitrep: heavy rain and hailstorm in manipur (06 may 2024), the story of a village and its transformation, action plan to prevent floods, leaving no one behind: lessons from the kerala disasters.



Appraisal of climate change and cyclone trends in Indian coastal states: a systematic approach towards climate action

  • Original Paper
  • Open access
  • Published: 20 April 2022
  • Volume 15 , article number  814 , ( 2022 )

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cyclone case study in india pdf

  • Komali Kantamaneni 1 ,
  • Sigamani Panneer 2 ,
  • Annaidasan Krishnan 3 ,
  • Sulochana Shekhar 3 ,
  • Lekha Bhat 4 ,
  • Aswathi K. R 2 &
  • Louis Rice 5  

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Indian coastal regions have often been affected by frequent climate-induced natural disasters such as cyclones, floods, droughts and other related hazards in recent decades. Existing literature was not sufficient to fully understand these event trends from diverse perspectives in a systematised manner at current scenarios. Therefore, a systematic approach has been employed to assess the climate change and cyclone trends of nine Indian coastal states by using various geographical information system (GIS) tools for 2006–2020. The results showed that 61 cyclones occurred in nine coastal states from 2006 to 2020; the highest numbers were recorded in Odisha (20), West Bengal (14) and Andhra Pradesh (11). Accordingly, these three coastal states emerged as the most vulnerable for high-intensity cyclones. The results also identified that the highest average temperature (29.3 °C) was recorded at Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, and the lowest temperature (26.7 °C) was recorded in West Bengal and Odisha. Most of the coastal states showed fluctuations in temperatures during the study period. At the same time, Kerala and Karnataka states recorded the highest average rainfall (2341 mm and 2261 mm) and highest relative humidity (78.11% and 76.57%). Conversely, the Gujarat and West Bengal states recorded the lowest relative humidity at 59.65% and 70.78%. Based on these results, the current study generated GIS vulnerability maps for climate change and cyclone activity, allowing one to rank each state’s vulnerability. Cumulatively, these results and maps assist in understanding the driving mechanisms of climate change, cyclones and will contribute towards more effective and efficient sustainable disaster management in the future.

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Coastal states of India are often affected by frequent climate induced natural disasters such as cyclones, floods, droughts and other related hazards in recent years (Mirza 2003 ; Patel et al. 2020 ; Thomalla and Schmuck 2004 ; Yadav and Barve 2017 ). Climate change is having a significant impact in tropical and subtropical countries, especially coastal regions. Coastal areas in some countries particularly in the global south are highly susceptible to the various impacts of climate change due to anthropogenic and natural climatic factors (Bouwer 2011 ; DasGupta and Shaw 2013 ; Nath and Behera 2011 ; Sivakumar and Stefanski 2010 ). Severe changes in climatic and weather conditions, rapid sea-level rise (SLR), storm surge, temperature fluctuations and irregular rainfall trends have increased coastal vulnerability problems in the majority of coastal regions across the globe, resulting in huge losses of coastlines, properties and damage to coastal communities (Burkett 2012 ; Gupta et al. 2019 ; Lal 2003 ; Mimura 2013 ; Sánchez-Arcilla et al. 2011 ). Likewise, many coastal states of India suffer severe cyclonic storms leading to flooding. Furthermore, some of these coastal states are particularly highly populated: Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat states’ coastal communities have been highly impacted by climate change and cyclones (Baig et al. 2020 ; Kantamaneni et al. 2019 ; Mazumdar and Paul 2016 ; Rao et al. 2020a ; Rehman et al. 2020 ). The rapid urbanisation increases the risk of pluvial floods in the coastal areas (Zhang et al. 2018 ; Zhu et al. 2021 , 2015 ), and the impact of climate change on coastal states is a serious concern.

Tropical cyclones are one of the greatest threats to human life and property even during the initial stages of cyclonic development. In the last 50 years, 1, 942 disasters have been identified as tropical cyclones, killing 77,9324 people and causing $1,407.6 billion fiscal destruction across the world (World Meteorological Organisation 2021 ). Nearly, 630 million people will live below estimated annual flood levels for 2100; 1 hundred million people live below high tide areas globally (Kulp and Strauss 2019 ), and the number of high intensity global tropical cyclones will likely rise due to anthropogenic global warming in the twenty-first century (GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory 2021 ). The different downscaling and Multiple Earth System Models (Emanuel 2017 , 2021 ; Irvine et al. 2019 ; Knutson et al. 2020 ; Michaelis and Lackmann 2019 ; Patricola and Wehner 2018 ; Wehner et al. 2014 ) forecast that anthropogenic climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of the most intense tropical cyclones and amount of rainfall (Irvine et al. 2019 ). The warmer sea surface temperature has resulted in large stocks of moisture and the intensification of cyclones which hit land. Over the past 50 years, the number of landfalling hurricanes in the North Atlantic has increased by 94% (Michaelis and Lackmann 2019 ), and East Asia and North West Pacific have experienced an increasing trend in rapid intensification of tropical cyclones with an escalated cost of destructions (Basconcillo and Moon 2022 ; Chan et al. 2021 ; Liu and Chan 2022 ).

The changes in global sectoral interactions in several countries due to tropical cyclones over the period of 1990–2015 show that tropical cyclones have a substantial adverse effect on the yearly growth rate of almost all sectors. Damage to productive capital, infrastructure, or buildings can have direct negative consequences and lead to a negative income shock for the entire economy (Kousky 2012 ). The intensification of tropical cyclones due to global warming exposes more people to it and also intensifies the future cost of climate change (Kunze 2021 ). The extreme weather events in 2020 caused significant damage to the economies in several countries across the globe particularly in Asian Countries such as China (USS238), India (USS87), and Japan (USS83) (WMO-World Meterological Organisation 2021 ).

The Indian Ocean area is one of the 6 most prone cyclone areas in the world with five to six cyclones on average per year (Sahoo and Bhaskaran 2018 ). Indian coastal regions with low-lying terrain, high population density, frequent cyclones and storms, and a high rate of coastal environmental degradation lead to many disasters and extreme vulnerability for the coastal states. In the Indian region, more cyclones occur in the Bay of Bengal than in the Arabian Sea at a ratio of 4:1(Rao et al. 2020b ). Many different types of coastal ecosystems can be found along the Indian coastline, i.e. coastal wetlands, major estuaries, lagoons, and mangroves. Total coastal wetland covers 43, 230 km 2 of the coastal states; 97 major estuaries and 34 major lagoons are found throughout the study area; 31 mangrove areas are located on the coastline and total mangrove areas covered 6740 km 2 , where 57% of mangrove areas are situated the East coast, and 23% of the area covered along the West coast and 20% of the mangroves area is located at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute 2021 ). The coastal states have tropical climates and monsoons with a dry and rainy season. The rains are more or less intense and long-lasting depending on the area (Nandargi and Mulye 2012 ).

Frequent occurrence of cyclones is very common in the Indian coast and causes heavy damage resulting from the effects of storm surges and high tides (Rao et al. 2020b ; Shaji et al. 2014 ; Unnikrishnan et al. 2006 ). Estimated sea-level projections for future years and centuries indicate the potential exposure of the coastal population to the various hazards; coastal planning is vital for further improvement of adaption strategies. Additionally, three megacities are located on the Indian coastline, i.e. Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, and some growing cities with millions of inhabitants are at high risk. Furthermore, the impact of climate change is reflected in sea surface temperatures and tropical storm characteristics which are increasing every year. India (coastal cities) has been chosen as a research area as one of the tropical countries in South Asia; however, the existing literature was not sufficient to fully understand these events’ trends in coastal areas from diverse perspectives. Therefore, the current study examines climate change and cyclone trends in 9 coastal states. Also, this research address the UN-SDG (United Nations Sustainability Goal) 13 (climate change) by doing the above mentioned assessments in diverse ways. Consequently, this research explains how climate change will be a barrier to achieve SDG 13 in coastal states of India and offer some guidelines to overcome the problem. The changing environment and climatic conditions and the increasing number of extreme events (such as frequent floods, droughts, cyclones and other related disasters) push millions of people into chronic poverty worldwide. This increases the imbalances in physical, social and economic systems and affects sustainable development. It disturbs various economic activities, including agriculture, food safety and tourism. It threatens the very existence of island counties and coastal cities. Different research findings proved the effects of climate vulnerability on vector-borne diseases. Increasing sea surface temperature raises coastal vulnerability. Overall, it has a significant impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which we plan to achieve by 2030. Though SDG 13 focuses on combating climate change and its impacts, and national governments are taking various steps to build climate-change-resilient communities, climate change is still a great challenge and an impediment to achieving all the other SDGs. These results will help for future planning and policy making and efficient sustainable coastal management.

India is the seventh-largest country in the world by area (3.28 million sq. km) and the second-largest by population (1.3 billion), with 28 states and 8 union territories (Government of India 2022 ). It occupies a significant portion of the South Asian subcontinent, which has nine coastal states and two coastal union territories. These states’ boundaries occupy the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean as shown in Fig.  1 . The total length of the coastline is 7, 516.6 km, comprising the mainland with 5, 422.6 km and island territories of 2094 km (Table 1 ). The exclusive economic zone (the areas identified as economically beneficial) is an identified 2.02 × 106 million km2, and three states include megacities with the largest population pressure, i.e. Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. The total population of coastal states and union territories is 560 million, and it comprises 46.2% of the total population (Kumar et al. 2006 ; Singh 2003 ). The inland consists of four areas called the plains of the Ganga and the Indus (1), the great mountain zone (2), the desert region (3) and the southern peninsula (4). India is a tropical country with hot to extremely hot weather in summers and dry winters with four main periods per year called winter (December–February), summer (March–June), pre-monsoon season (June–September) and post-monsoon season (October–November) (Government of India 2022 ). However, significant changes have been recorded in these four seasons — extended hot summers and shortened winters.

figure 1

Map of the case study area: Indian coastal states

According to the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority), in 2022, 75% of the Indian coastline is susceptible to cyclones and related hazards. More than 60 districts and > 14% of the coastal states and the population of the union territories are frequently exposed to different levels of cyclones. Though 7% of global cyclones originate in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, the impact of cyclones on Indian coastal states is enormous. The geography of India and the fluctuations in climatic conditions (temperature, rainfall trends, humidity, etc.) are vital factors that lead to an increase in the intensity and frequency of cyclones and in the damage inflicted on the coastal areas of India. Among all natural disasters, cyclones contributed to 15% of the total number of natural disasters that occurred in India between 1999 and 2020, and they rank third after floods and earthquakes (Government of India 2022 ). Based on these reasons, nine Indian coastal states (excluding two union territories) have been selected for the assessment to offer updated knowledge on climate changes and cyclone trends.


The current study adopted the Donnadieu et al. ( 2017 )’s systematic approach to assess climate change and the cyclone trends in Indian coastal states. This systematic approach accumulates all the empirical evidence that is related to corresponding research, and it has been considered the answer to an explicit research question. Besides, the systematic approach method reduces bias and leads to more trustworthy findings for decision-making. Accordingly, a systematic approach has been used to assess the trends of climate change and cyclones in a logical order to offer updated knowledge. The present research is an appraisal of historical climatic data (temperature, rainfall and relative humidity) in relation to cyclone intensity. The data was acquired from NASA Power Data Access ( https://power.larc.nasa.gov/data-access-viewer/ ) and NASA Langley Research Center. Temperature and humidity were measured 2 m above the surface. Correspondingly, the data about cyclones (Table 1 ) was gathered from IMD E-atlas, the Indian Meteorological Department, and was divided into three categories based on the intensity (i.e. depressions [D], cyclonic storms [CS] and severe cyclonic storms [SCS]). The current study analysed the spatial exhibitions of the cyclone-prone areas and the spatial exhibitions of the cyclonic paths using the ‘Display XY Data’ GIS tools – ArcGIS 10.6. Temperature, rainfall, and humidity data were constructed annually to reveal the in-depth climatic changes of Indian coastal states (Table 2 ).

The study categorised the cyclones into three types based upon the intensity derived from the criteria-based classification, Indian Meteorological Department, such as cyclonic storms and severe cyclonic storms (Fig.  2 ). Moreover, the climatic data was calculated year-wise from 2006 to 2020, which was considered an average for each year. In addition, spatial and temporal analysis was accomplished using the choropleth method using ArcGIS 10.6 software. Spatial representations into four categories based on numerical values on the chronological order using the natural breaking tool in ArcGIS 10.6 were created; the units of measurement of the climatic data includes rainfall (mm), temperature (°C) and humidity (%). The study reveals the impacts of climate change per state. This study considered 15 years of climatic data for an appraisal of climate changes.

figure 2

Number of crossed cyclones thorough the coastal states for 2006–2020

Results and discussion

State-wise paths of cyclones.

There were 61 cyclonic disturbances across the Indian coastline during 2006–2020. The maximum number of cyclonic disturbances occurred in Odisha (20), and the second highest cyclonic turbulences traversed West Bengal (14) followed by Andhra Pradesh (11) and Tamil Nadu (11) during 2006–2020. The maximum cyclonic disturbances were crossed at Gujarat (2) and Goa (3). However, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra coastlines had no cyclones during 2006–2020 (Fig.  2 ). The identification and tracking of cyclonic turbulences assist in facilitation of the necessary precautions and warnings for vulnerable coastal communities. The study considered the starting location of each cyclone which are the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Inland. The results show the state-wise cyclonic paths for the selected study period.

State-wise cyclonic data consists of the data/m/year (which is shown in Table 3 ) contains the data of the depression, cyclonic storm and severe cyclonic storm. Furthermore, the Southwest monsoon played a major role in producing 29 cyclonic disturbances near the coastal region and 27 cyclonic turbulences associated with the Northeast monsoon, whereas 5 cyclones occurred during the non-monsoon season. Consequently, the study has evaluated three cyclones seasons, i.e. Southwest monsoon (June to September), Northeast monsoon (October to December) and non-monsoon season (January to May), and these were assessed for climate change appraisal.

In-depth analysis: state wise of cyclones

Eastern coastal india, andhra pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh is one of the Indian coastal states located in the south-eastern India, where cyclones frequently pass during the monsoon season every year. Consequently, the study has identified that most of the cyclones cross the state during the Northeast monsoon. Andhra Pradesh is a vulnerable coastal zone, experiencing 11 cyclonic turbulences (Fig.  3 ), 5 depressions (D) were documented during the years 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2018; although 2 cyclonic storms occurred during years 2006 and 2018, and 4 severe cyclonic storms (SCS) were measured in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2020. These severe Cyclonic Storms resulted in 95 fatalities and resulted in the displacement of 4,93,732 people in Andhra Pradesh (Chapman et al. 2020 ; Dhara 2019 ; NASA Power Data Access 2020 ). Depressions would typically initiate heavy rainfall in the coastal districts: namely Nellore, East Godavari and Krishna, which are very highly prone cyclonic areas, whereas Srikakulam, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, West Godavari, Prakasam, and Vizianagaram districts are the highly prone areas as classified by the Indian Meteorological Department, Government of India.

figure 3

The number of cyclones occurring in nine Indian coastal states for 2006–2020

West Bengal

The coastline of West Bengal consists of two coastal districts, i.e. Midnapur and South Parganas district, and it encompasses the Sundarbans mangrove ecosystem (Zhang et al. 2021 ). Fourteen cyclones traversed through West Bengal (Fig.  3 ); 9 cyclonic disturbances provided the lowest impacts on coastal districts, and 3 cyclonic turbulences created the largest impacts. In addition, 2 cyclonic storms traversed through West Bengal, and 3 severe cyclonic storms crossed, which created a high impact on humans and the environment as these cyclones lead to torrential rain. The resulted in a total of 138 fatalities and displacement of 8,38,000 people in the state (Ehrnsten et al. 2019 ; Serpetti et al. 2017 ). These cyclonic turbulences had major impacts on Kolkata and several districts, Sabang, North and South 24 Parganas, East and West Midnapore, Bankura, Howrah, Burdwan, Hoogly, Purulia, Ghatal, Darjeeling, Sabang, Pingla, Cooch Behar, Datan and Jhargra and Cooch Behar districts, were severely affected.

Based on the appraisal of historical cyclonic data, Odisha state was defined as a highly cyclone-prone area. In total, 20 cyclones crossed throughout the period 2006–2020: 17 cyclonic depressions (Fig.  3 ) formed on the Bay of Bengal, which resulted in heavy rainfall to the entire coastal district; 1 cyclonic storm came across the Odisha coastline; and 2 severe cyclonic storms (SCS) occurred during the Northeast monsoon. These cyclonic turbulences directly impacted the Balasore, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Ganjam, Puri and Khordha districts leading to water-based disasters (floods), with 2007 and 2014 chronicling extreme floods in Odisha. The districts Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Jaipur, Keonjhar, and Mayurbhanj, Balikuda and Naugaon experienced 94 deaths, and 90,000 people were displaced during the study period. It is noteworthy that tropical monsoons impacted on one-third of the entire state.

Tamil Nadu comprises 14 coastal districts, i.e. Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi, Thirunelveli and Kanyakumari (organised from north to south), and is one of the most prone to cyclones. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), 11 cyclones were caused by the northeast monsoon and 5 depressions traversed Tamil Nadu (Fig.  3 ). The state was predominantly affected by severe cyclonic storms during the northeast monsoon; these were accompanied by various losses such as human life, environment and habitats. Furthermore, two major floods occurred in 2014 and 2015, caused by a tropical cyclone crossing the east coast of India; and low-pressure systems caused flooding in Tamil Nadu. These resulted in the loss of 360 human lives in the Chennai and Cuddalore districts.

Western coastal India

Kerala, karnataka and maharashtra.

The Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra coastal states are located in the west India coastal area, lying vertically from north to south sharing boundaries with the Arabian Sea. No cyclones hit during 2006–2020; the Southwest monsoon generated continuous rainfall for the period of June to September causing heavy rainfall and floods near the coastal districts. In 2010 monsoon rain caused floods and landslides in both southern parts (Kerala and Assam) where 50 people were killed and approximately 500,000 people were relocated (ReliefWeb 2021 ). In 2018, Kerala was severely affected by high rainfall for all of its 14 districts, namely Alappuzha, Kasaragod, Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Idukki, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. Moreover, water was released from multiple dam reservoirs, and deaths were documented at 359 with 7 people missing. In 2009, heavy monsoon rain caused flash floods, the states Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala were severely affected by the floods, and many places saw exceptional monsoon rainfall, severe river flooding and landslides affecting west coast areas and southern provinces.

Goa and Gujarat

The state of Goa is divided into north and south administrative districts. Goa suffered 2 cyclonic disturbances (Fig.  3 ), crossing the Goa and Konkan regions during 2006–2020. Bicholim, Sattari, Ponda, Canacona and Sanguem areas were affected by floods, and Pernem, Bardez, Tiswadi, Salcete, Mormugao and the Canacona regions were affected by coastal erosion. During this period, 3 depressions crossed Gujarat caused by the southwest monsoon (June), and most of the coastal districts were affected by heavy monsoon rainfall. In 2007, monsoon flooding harshly affected and/or damaged most of the regions, i.e. Saurashtra region, Surendranagar, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Amreli; in South Gujarat, Bharuch, Narmada, Surat, Junagarh, Patan, Mehsana, Gandhinagar and Sabarkantha; and in the Kutch region, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Anand, Panchmahal, Daskroi, Dholka, Valsad and Kheda.

Climate change and data analysis

The research appraised the impacts of climate change on the coastal states from the east to west coast, i.e. West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat using the empirical climate data. These states measured climate change aspects from 2006 to 2020. The study revealed average temperature, average rainfall and average humidity for the selected study period. The result identified that Tamil Nadu and Gujarat had the highest temperatures 29.3 and 29.0 °C, and the lowest temperatures were in West Bengal and Odisha 26.7 and 27.5 °C. Kerala and Karnataka states recorded the highest average rainfall of 2341 and 2261 mm. Conversely, Odisha and Tamil Nadu states had the lowest rainfall levels of 994 and 1075 mm from 2006 to 2020. Kerala and Karnataka states had the highest humidity of 78.11 and 76.57 percent, whilst Gujarat and West Bengal states recorded the lowest humidity of approximately 59.65 and 70.78°. The overall appraisal of climatic data identifies the Kerala and Karnataka states as being highly affected by climate change (Table 4 ).


The study considered climatic parameters such as temperature, rainfall and humidity which was calculated as an average for each year from 2006 to 2020 (Fig.  4 ). West Bengal experienced the highest average temperature documented at 25.96 °C in 2015, and the lowest average temperature identified at 25.32 °C in 2008. Odisha’s average temperature was recorded at 27.17 °C in 2009, whereas the lowest temperature noted at 26.10 °C in the year 2020. Andhra Pradesh’s highest average temperature was recorded at 27.83 °C in 2009, and the lowest average temperature documented as 27.05 °C in 2007. Tamil Nadu highest average temperature was 35.62 °C in 2019, and their lowest average temperature was documented at 27.27 °C in 2020. Kerala’s highest average temperature was 27.41 °C in 2019, while the lowest average temperature measured 26.50 °C in 2008. Karnataka’s maximum average temperature of 27.06 °C was in 2019, and their minimum average temperature measured 25.35 °C in 2007. The smallest state of Goa recorded their maximum average temperature of 27.58 °C in 2020 and lowest average temperature of 27.10 °C in 2011. Maharashtra’s highest average temperature hit 27.66 °C in 2011, and their lowest average temperature measured 27.26 °C in 2007. The maximum temperature of Gujarat was 28.30 °C in 2015, and their lowest average temperature was 27.4 °C in 2013. However, whilst the distribution of average temperatures varies throughout the study period, the maximum average temperature overall was found in Tamil Nadu. Tropical cyclones form based upon intensifying temperatures in oceanic regions. This is also related to greenhouse gas (GHG)-induced surface temperature increase. Furthermore, the world meteorological organization (WMO) global level appraisal (Knutson et al., 2020 ) concluded that tropical cyclones are extremely unusual compared with other natural causes.

figure 4

Average temperatures 2006–2020

The appraisal of average rainfall in Indian coastal states dates from 2006 to 2020 (Fig.  5 ), and the study describes the maximum and minimum rainfall for each state. West Bengal’s maximum average rainfall observed 2080 mm in the year 2017 and minimum average rainfall measured at 1197 mm in 2012. Odisha’s maximum average rainfall was 1913 mm in 2018, with a minimum average rainfall of 1317 mm in 2009. Andhra Pradesh recorded their highest average rainfall of 1682 mm in 2010 and lowest rainfall of 865 mm in 2009. Tamil Nadu observed their highest average rainfall of 1515 mm in 2015 and lowest average rainfall of 796 mm in 2012. Kerala measured their highest rainfall of 2960 mm in 2006 and lowest rainfall of 1691 mm in 2012. Karnataka observed their highest average rainfall of 3044 mm in 2020 and in 2008 their lowest rainfall of 1848 mm. Goa measured their maximum average rainfall of 1915 mm in 2019 and minimum average rainfall of 1131 mm in 2008. A highest average rainfall for Maharashtra was 2713 mm in 2006 and lowest average rainfall of 1464 mm in 2015. Gujarat received their highest average rainfall of 1349 mm in 2007 and their lowest average rainfall of 693 mm in 2018. The highest distribution of average rainfall was dispersed across the states. Most of the states, i.e. Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala states, received the lowest average rainfalls, particularly in the year 2012, when the monsoon failed to arrive.

figure 5

Average rainfall 2006–2020

The humidity is recorded during the study period as a state-wide quantity representing the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere as an average distribution. The highest average humidity was measured in West Bengal at 75.04% in 2020 (Fig.  6 ), and their lowest humidity was measured at 68.06% in 2012. Odisha’s highest average humidity was recorded at 75.4% in 2020 and their lowest humidity measured 69.0% in 2009. Andhra Pradesh’s extreme humidity was 74.3% in 2020, while their lowest humidity was 69.3 in 2009. The highest average humidity measured at Tamil Nadu was 76.9% in 2006, and their lowest was 72.0% in 2016. Kerala recorded their highest value of humidity at 79.2% in 2006 and lowest value of 76.8 in 2019. The highest humidity measured in Karnataka was 79.7% in 2006, and the lowest was 74.6 in 2007. Goa’s maximum humidity was 76.9% in 2010, and the lowest was 74.1% in 2015. Maharashtra’s highest humidity at 72.7% in 2010 and lowest humidity was 67.5% in 2018. Gujarat’s highest humidity was 64.0% in 2020, and the lowest was 54.7% in 2018. The study revealed the West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat states experienced the highest humidity, particularly the year 2020.

figure 6

Average relative humidity 2006–2020

In the overall assessment of temperatures, rainfall and humidity, the study identified that the temperature increased in Kerala (0.78 °C) and Tamil Nadu (0.71 °C), whereas in Karnataka (− 0.64 °C) and West Bengal (− 0.60 °C) the temperature decreased. Karnataka (1072 mm) and Goa (605 mm) states received the highest rainfall. Kerala (− 556 mm) and Tamil Nadu (− 285 mm) states rainfall decreased from 2006 to 2020. West Bengal’s (4.7%) and Gujarat’s (2.8%) humidity increased; Tamil Nadu (− 2.0%) and Karnataka (− 1.6%) observed decreased humidity from 2006 to 2020. Therefore, the overall appraisal noted that the highest changes were documented in Karnataka and Kerala, and the results indicate these states are acquiring rapid climatic changes, with the rest of the coastal states experiencing no change, based on the appraisal of climatic data.

Overall trends of climate change and cyclones in Indian coastal states

Climate change and fluctuations in the climate are the major challenges for sustainable coastal zone management across India and also barriers to achieving the UN SDG 13. This study evaluated the climatic data for the past 15 years, identifying the impacts of climate change on coastal states and revealing that the climate is changing for most of the coastal states with Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh experiencing increasing or decreasing temperatures, abnormal rainfall and humid conditions. As a result of these climate changes, increasing sea level rises (1.7 mm/year) is contributing to other challenges including habitat loss, degradation of coastlines and coastal ecosystems and shoreline changes. Furthermore, climate change is exacerbating coastal erosion within this short time period, leading to coastal area flooding and seawater intrusion. West Bengal suffered the largest proportion of erosion between 1989 and 2001, with alteration along 70% of its coast, followed by Kerala (65%), Gujarat (60%) and Odisha (50%). Sea-level rise and floods may cause greater evacuation in major coastal cities, in addition to the displacement of people along the eastern coast (Dhara 2019 ). These aforementioned issues are impacting on the Indian coastal states. Cyclones are a natural disaster that strike India almost every year, claiming many lives and wreaking havoc on property. Based upon historic cyclonic data from 2006 to 2020, the study reveals that Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal states are severely affected by cyclones during the northeast monsoon. The state of Gujarat is highly vulnerable to tropical cyclones every year by the southwest monsoon. In recent years, cyclonic intensity has been very high and damaged the human and coastal environment.

The direct impact of climate change to the coastal area is also from heavy rains, unbearably high temperatures, humidity, etc. (Chapman et al. 2020 ; Zhang et al. 2021 ). These studies have demonstrated the vulnerability of the coastal area and reveal the impacts of climate change on coastal states (Serpetti et al. 2017 ). A large number of drivers, such as cyclones and floods, are closely associated with climate change (Ehrnsten et al. 2019 ). This study has been undertaken in coastal states affected by climatic factors such as cyclone, temperature, rainfall and humidity. The study shows the influence of climate change to the coastal states of India. In addition, this should identify the natural hazards determined by climate change and associated human stress in these coastal states. Adaptation to climate change must be implemented for resilience to future disasters as well as to achieve UN-SDG 13.

The study limitations

This study focused on the appraisal of climate change in Indian coastal states where the climatic data was available from 2006 to 2020. Consequently, the analysis is limited to the study duration, and it is not focused on the wider trends of climate change and water-based disasters such as flood and landslide. Furthermore, due to time constraints, the study did not evaluate the impacts of climate change on human health. While the researchers took this into consideration during the conception of the present study, it was not possible to achieve that goal on time.


Climate change (temperature, rainfall and humidity) and cyclones are some of the world’s most destructive issues and often lead to destruction in South Asia, particularly India. The regular occurrence of cyclones is widespread in the Indian coastal states and causes significant damage resulting from the effect of storm surges and high tides. To improve information regarding these issues, the current study has assessed the climate change and cyclone trends in nine coastal states of India from 2006 to 2020 by using GIS tools, NASA and the IMD E-atlas and Indian Meteorological Data. The study identified that there has been a rise in high-intensity cyclones during the study period. Odisha and West Bengal are the most cyclone-prone states, and Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka are the least prone states, though Kerala and Karnataka states recorded the highest average rainfall and highest humidity. The highest average temperature was recorded in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, and the lowest temperature was recorded in West Bengal and Odisha, although these two states have the highest cyclone vulnerability. These trends once again raise the urgency of further investigations on the relationship between climate change and cyclone activities. The GIS maps, generated from the study results, help to identify the intensity of climate change and cyclones state-wise. The study results also help policy and decision-makers to progress and improve effective strategies for sustainable coastal management. Also, these results help towards achieving one of the goals of the UN-SDG 13 (climate change), which further helps to improve the sustainability of coastal management in Indian coastal regions and also people’s lives.

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The authors are grateful to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) POWER Project funded through the NASA Earth Science/Applied Science Program for providing cyclones and climatic data used in this study.

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Komali Kantamaneni

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Sigamani Panneer & Aswathi K. R

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Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, School of Life Sciences, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur, Tamil Nadu, 610005, India

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Kantamaneni, K., Panneer, S., Krishnan, A. et al. Appraisal of climate change and cyclone trends in Indian coastal states: a systematic approach towards climate action. Arab J Geosci 15 , 814 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-022-10076-8

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'HUDHUD' Cyclone (12 th OCTOBER 2014) Case Study

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    cyclone case study in india pdf


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  1. (PDF) Cyclone disaster in India, mitigation and their impacts

    The problem of the cyclone is arising in the coastal areas of India. If we look at the history of the cyclone, from 1999 to 2021, it has caused a lot of devastation; it remains a threat to the ...

  2. PDF Loss and Damages from Cyclone: A Case Study from Odisha, a ...

    Loss and Damages from Cyclone: A Case Study from Odisha, a Coastal State Trupti Mishra and Krishna Malakar IntroductIon Cyclones are a significant risk to lives and property in coastal areas, and cause severe loss and damages to communities. In 2018, cyclones resulted in a loss of 56 billion USD globally (Munich RE 2019). India (which is

  3. Loss and Damages from Cyclone: A Case Study from Odisha, a ...

    Abstract. Natural disasters such as cyclones result in tremendous loss and damages to life and property of coastal communities. However, studies assessing loss and damages are limited in the literature. This study attempts to document the loss and damages incurred by the marine fishing community affected by Cyclone Phailin in 2013, on the coast ...

  4. Cyclone Disaster Mitigation and Management in India: An Overview

    A comprehensive report on the loss and damage along with the need assessment for Cyclone Fani which occurred in Odisha in 2019 was prepared by collaborative efforts of Odisha state Government, OSDMA, the World Bank, the agencies of United Nations along with the Asian Development Bank. Based on this report, a case study of cyclone Fani presented.

  5. The 1999 super cyclone in Odisha, India: A systematic review of

    India is among the top ten countries in terms of absolute losses from disasters between 1998 and 2017, totalling an estimated 79.5 billion dollars [1].The Indian state of Odisha is highly prone to tropical cyclones, which severely hit its coast numerous times in the past years [32].The 1999 Odisha Super Cyclonic Storm, which made landfall on the Indian Eastern coast near Paradip, Odisha on ...

  6. PDF An Integrated Approach to the Preparedness and Mitigation of Cyclone

    Cyclone Tauktae: The Case of Kerala 1. Introduction The term 'tropical cyclone' refers to warm-core, non-frontal synoptic systems of low pressure that develop over tropical or subtropical oceans (Hobgood 2005). The winds can spread hundreds of kilometres from the eye of the storm (IMD 2021). They create a whirl in the

  7. PDF Cyclone Phailin in India: Early warning and timely actions saved lives

    On the evening of October 12, 2013 a very severe tropical cyclone, Phailin, brought torrential downpours, damaging winds of more than 220 kilometres per hour (km/h) and storm surges of up to 3.5 metres (m) to the eastern Indian states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh (GoO, 2013). A satellite image of Cyclone Phailin is pictured in Figure 1.

  8. Building Resilience of Critical Infrastructure: A Case of Impacts of

    Odisha is multi-hazard-prone state in the eastern part of India. Among the various disasters, the frequency and severity of cyclones have increased at an alarming rate in the last two decades, which is attributed to climatic change. The state government of Odisha has made great strides in reducing the lives lost in the state, but an increase in economic losses and damage to critical ...

  9. PDF Study Report on

    Loss and damage due to the impact of the cyclone were very high. The reported number of deaths accounted to 52 persons and 259 persons were injured. Almost 5.6 lakh persons were directly afected, losing their livelihoods, clothes or utensils. A large number of pucca and kutcha houses were partially or fully damaged.

  10. PDF Cyclone Impact on Infrastructure

    Cyclone and Its Impact: Some Recent Case Studies Mr. Shreyash Dwivedi Jr. Consultant Resilient Infrastructure Division, NIDM, GoI 04:00 - 04:05 PM Q & A Session With Speaker 04:05 - 04:40 PM Cyclone Management in Odisha Shri. Padmanav Behera Joint Special Relief Commissioner Odisha 04:40 - 04:45 PM Q & A Session With Speaker 04:45 - 05: ...

  11. The 1999 super cyclone in Odisha, India: A systematic review of

    Therefore, NDs pose a significant challenge for India and are predicted to get more intense over time [36]. Some of the earlier studies in India have focused on the loss of human life and household assets due to a super cyclone in Odisha [37-39], multiple extreme events like floods, droughts, heatwaves and cyclones in Odisha [40], consumption loss due to floods in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh ...

  12. Assessing the impacts of Amphan cyclone over West Bengal, India: a

    Landfall of the Amphan (very severe cyclonic storm) occurred at 1730 hrs Indian Standard Time (IST) on May 20, 2020, near the West Bengal (W.B.) coast of India. High wind speed, storm surge, and torrential rainfall-induced flooding caused devastation in W.B. The present study aims to analyse the impacts of Amphan cyclone on land use/land cover (LULC) such as built-up area, cropland, brick-kiln ...

  13. Cyclone Idai Case Study

    The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says that Cyclone Idai wiped out a whole year's worth of crops across swathes of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. At least 1 million acres of crops were destroyed. The cyclone is expected to cost Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe more than $2bn, the World Bank has said. Cholera infected at least 1,052 people in ...

  14. Role of multi-purpose cyclone shelters in India: Last mile or

    The study approach is qualitative and follows 'multiple case study' method (Shkedi, 2005). There were four 'tropical cyclones' of 'Very Severe' or above category which struck the east coast of India during 2013-2019, all of which have been considered.

  15. Study Report on Gaja Cyclone 2018

    India. Study Report on Gaja Cyclone 2018 Format Analysis Source. Govt. India; Posted 24 Oct 2019 Originally published 30 Sep 2019 Origin View original. Attachments. Download Report (PDF | 9.8 MB)

  16. Appraisal of climate change and cyclone trends in Indian ...

    This study has been undertaken in coastal states affected by climatic factors such as cyclone, temperature, rainfall and humidity. The study shows the influence of climate change to the coastal states of India. In addition, this should identify the natural hazards determined by climate change and associated human stress in these coastal states.

  17. PDF Understandings of Disaster Governance: a Case Study of The Bhola Cylone

    This study uses the case of the 1970 Bhola Cyclone which occurred in contemporary Bangladesh to investigate the ways disaster governance was transformed, and how these transformations hold impacts for contemporary policy; asking how the Bhola Cyclone reshaped disaster governance, and if these structures are still in place.

  18. 'HUDHUD' Cyclone (12 th OCTOBER 2014) Case Study

    Download Free PDF. View PDF. 'HUDHUD' Cyclone (12th OCTOBER 2014) Case Study fHud Hud Cyclone on the day of crossing the coast . 2 fCyclone on the day of crossing the coast 3 fHud Hud Cyclone….. • In the living memory of Visakhapatnam, a VERY SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM WITH CORE OF HURRICANE WINDS 'HUDHUD' crossed at Visakhapatnam on 12. ...

  19. PDF eGyanKosh: Home

    eGyanKosh: Home

  20. [PDF] Post-Pandemic Consumer Behavior Analysis: A Case Study of Product

    This study explores the fascinating topic of consumer behavior in India's post-pandemic environment, paying particular attention to the trends and variables affecting product purchasing. Consumer interests and preferences have undergone substantial alteration as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses looking to adapt and flourish in the changing industry must comprehend how these shifts ...