Orissa Cyclone of 1999

October 29, 1999, saw cyclonic storms with winds of 200 km per hour ripping through India’s eastern coast.

Orissa, like many times in the past, was at the receiving end of nature’s fury.

Few can forget newspaper photographs and television images of decomposed bodies floating around in the mass of water covering the state. In fact, a Times of India reporter had to wade through human corpses and animal carcasses to reach villagers living in makeshift camps.

The loss in the cyclone - later described as the century’s worst - was tremendous: 10,000 lives were lost, lakhs were rendered homeless and land-owners suffered incalculable losses.

On 29th of October 1999, a terrifying cyclone emerged from the Bay of bengal. With winds up to 300 km/h and 30 feet tidal waves, it thrashed and terrorized the state of Orissa for more than 36 hours. Returning back to the sea, it left behind a trail of untold devastation - the worst in the history of India.

Hearing about Orissa's devastation in Gujarat, His Holiness Pramukh swami Maharaj, immediately instructed the Sanstha's Calcutta center to begin relief work.

After gathering essential relief materials, the Sanstha's team of sadhus and volunteers was one of the first relief terms to arrive in Orissa. The team of 280 sadhus, doctors and volunteers have been working round the clock since then, helping victims in two of the worst affected areas - Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara.

A massive cyclone has swept through the state of Orissa in eastern India, killing an unknown number of people and leaving thousands more homeless.
The extent of the damage is difficult to determine. The area is almost impossible to reach, as the cyclone has torn down bridges and made roads and railways impassable.

The 1999 Orissa cyclone, also known as Cyclone 05B, and Paradip cyclone, was the deadliest Indian Ocean tropical cyclone since the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone, and deadliest Indian storm since 1971. The storm made landfall just weeks after a Category 4 storm hit the same general area.

A tropical depression formed over the Malay Peninsula on October 25. It moved to the northwest and became a tropical storm on October 26. It continued to strengthen into a cyclone on the 27th. On October 28, it became a severe cyclone with a peak of 160 mph (260 km/h) winds. It hit India the next day as a 155 mph (250 km/h) cyclone. It caused the deaths of 15,000 people, and heavy to extreme damage in its path of destruction.