Define Cyclone

Learn what cyclones are, how they form, their impact, and examples of devastating cyclones. Explore the types of cyclones and their statistics.

What is a Cyclone?

A cyclone is a large-scale air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure. These violent storms are characterized by high winds and heavy rain, and can cause widespread destruction.

Types of Cyclones

There are different types of cyclones, including tropical cyclones, extratropical cyclones, and polar cyclones. Tropical cyclones, also known as hurricanes or typhoons, form over warm ocean waters and can cause devastating damage to coastal areas.

Cyclone Formation

Cyclones form when warm air rises over the ocean, creating an area of low pressure. This low pressure system then begins to rotate due to the Coriolis effect, which causes the storm to spin.

Impact of Cyclones

Cyclones can have a devastating impact on the areas they hit, causing widespread destruction of homes, infrastructure, and crops. In addition to the physical damage, cyclones can also lead to loss of life and displacement of populations.

Examples of Cyclones

One of the most famous examples of a cyclone is Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in 2005. The storm caused over 1,800 deaths and $125 billion in damage, making it one of the costliest natural disasters in US history.

Case Studies

In 2019, Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, causing over 1,000 deaths and leaving millions of people in need of humanitarian aid. The cyclone destroyed homes, schools, and hospitals, and devastated crops, leading to a food crisis in the region.


According to the World Meteorological Organization, over 10,000 people die each year from cyclones, with the majority of deaths occurring in developing countries. In addition, cyclones cause billions of dollars in damage each year, making them some of the costliest natural disasters.

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