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Top 10 Hurricanes In History

Top 10 Hurricanes In History
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Craig Butler

A gentle breeze is refreshing, but when Nature goes crazy in the wind department, the results are deadly. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down the Top 10 Hurricanes in History. For this video, we're looking at massive windstorms that caused significant destruction or had other substantial impact on people.

Special thanks to our users Leo Lazar Jakšić, Carter Karpinski, Christian Crespo, Johnny Zheng and Jaime Enrique Gutierrez Pérez for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest

Top 10 Hurricanes In History


A gentle breeze is refreshing, but when Nature goes crazy in the wind department, the results are deadly. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 hurricanes in history.

For this video, we’re looking at massive windstorms that caused significant destruction or had other substantial impact on people.

#10: Hurricane Sandy (2012)

A tropical wave in the Caribbean quickly developed into the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history in 2012. Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc in islands such as Haiti, where it caused at least 54 deaths, before making landfall in the U.S. Although 24 states were affected to some degree, the hardest hit were in the northeast. New Jersey reported at least 37 deaths and New York 53 due to the storm. Sandy also brought New York City to a complete standstill, shutting down the City That Never Sleeps completely. The amount of damage in the U.S. was estimated at more than $75 billion.

#9: Cyclone Tracy (1974)

Australia bore the brunt of a massive hurricane when Cyclone Tracy struck in 1974. Occurring on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it wasn’t the kind of holiday surprise that most people want. The city of Darwin had already been devastated once, suffering massive damage from Japanese air strikes in World War II. When Tracy struck, it destroyed 70% of the buildings in Darwin and left 41,000 of its 47,000 residents without a home. It also caused 71 fatalities and cost Australia more than $837 million in damages. Fortunately, the city rebounded and is today a thriving metropolis.

#8: Hurricane Mitch (1998)

The 1998 Atlantic hurricane season was topped by a category 5 hurricane that is classified as the second deadliest in recorded history. Approximately 11,000 people were killed as a result of the storm and its aftermath, and an equal number were classified as missing. One mudslide alone killed some 2,000 people. A staggering 2.7 million people lost their homes due to this furious hurricane, and some areas reported as much as 75 inches of rainfall. Most of the impact was felt in Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala, although the southern U.S. State of Florida did suffer significant damage as well.

#7: Okeechobee Hurricane (1928)

Before the National Hurricane Center began officially assigning names to storms in 1953, hurricanes were typically known by the specific geographic location which the storm affected. In 1928, the second deadliest hurricane in U.S. history centered on Lake Okeechobee, Florida’s largest freshwater lake. Its up to 160-MPH winds caused huge surges in the lake, raising water levels by as much as 20 feet. More than 2,500 people drowned and the total of fatalities associated with the storm was more than 4,000. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed in cities and towns the storm’s path.

#6: Hurricane Andrew (1992)

Due to its location on the gulf and the ocean, Florida has been affected by numerous hurricanes. Andrew, in 1992, was another category 5 monster that at the time caused more damage than any other hurricane in U.S. history. Wind speeds hit 177 MPH, tearing entire neighborhoods down to nothing but the foundations of their buildings; Miami-Dade County alone lost 25,000 houses. Effects beyond Florida include $500 million in damage to oil rigs in the Gulf and the creation of 28 tornadoes that impacted Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. In the end 65 lives were lost and damages totaled over $26 billion.

#5: Hurricane Katrina (2005)

The costliest hurricane in recorded U.S. history, Katrina totally devastated the proud city of New Orleans and created an emergency catastrophe management crisis for the United States. Scenes of the incredible devastation and the homeless situation it created were heartbreaking and left many sharply critical of the slow response from government agencies and then President George W. Bush. Although Louisiana took the brunt of Katrina, destruction was widespread, stretching from Florida to Texas as well as up the Eastern seaboard. Total damages have been estimated at $108B while as many as 1,836 people were killed.

#4: Typhoon Nina (1975)

As devastating as the loss of life due to Katrina was, it pales compared to the number who suffered the effects of Typhoon Nina in 1975. As hurricanes go, this pacific storm was a relatively moderate one. By the time it made landfall in Taiwan, it was a category 3 hurricane, and it weakened further after hitting mainland China. However, it brought with it tremendous amounts of rain – in fact, one 24-hour period saw more than a year’s worth of rain come pouring down. This caused the destruction of roughly 62 dams, including the massive Banqiao Dam. When Banqiao fell, it released floods that drowned something like 229,000 people.

#3: Galveston Hurricane (1900)

It may’ve happened more than a century ago, but the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 is still considered the deadliest in recorded U.S. history. And when figures related to damages are adjusted for inflation, it’s way up on the list of costliest ones as well. In 1900, no area in Galveston, Texas was more than 8.7 feet above sea level. Since the storm surge from the hurricane was as high as 15 feet, the entire city was underwater and more than 3,600 homes were entirely destroyed. Worse, as many as 12,000 are believed to have died as a direct result of the storm.

#2: Great Hurricane of 1780

Accurate figures on Atlantic hurricanes don’t exist before 1851, but the storm that hit the Caribbean in 1780 is generally considered to be the worst Atlantic storm of all time. Primarily striking the Lesser Antilles, Bermuda and Puerto Rico, the hurricane is believed to have killed roughly 22,000 people. Those losses include 4,000 French soldiers fighting in the American Revolutionary War. While exact figures on the physical damage are unavailable, they are believed to be significant since some experts estimate that winds in the Antilles may have reached a phenomenal 200 MPH.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Hurricane Hugo (1989)

- Labor Day Hurricane (1935)

- Hurricane Camille (1969)

- Great Miami Hurricane (1926)

- Great New England Hurricane (1938)


#1: Bhola Cyclone (1970)

The Bhola Cyclone is the deadliest hurricane on record and one of the deadliest natural disasters ever. Originating in the Bay of Bengal, the storm devastated much of Bangladesh and western India, ultimately affecting more than 3.6 million people and ultimately causing the deaths of between 300,000-500,000. The community of Tazumuddin was hardest hit, losing 45% of its population. In response to this and other tragedies in the region, George Harrison organized the Concert for Bangladesh, the first all-star benefit concert for emergency aid to help the victims of Bhola. If there can be a bright side it’s that as a result the UN, Red Cross and others have since developed preparedness plans for such crises in the future.

Do you agree with our list? What other hurricanes should we have included? For more enthralling top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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