15th Anniversary of Pakistani Cyclone


On May 20, 1999 a severe tropical cyclone made landfall at Shah Bunder, Pakistan, near Karachi.  The cyclone was at its peak with estimated 1-minute sustained winds near 110 kt (127 mph, 204 kph).  Heavy rains and a tremendous storm surge caused most of the damage, with the approximate $6 million devastation done to the rice crop.  Only some 400 bodies were recovered, but the Pakistani government figured an additional 5800 citizens were killed and their bodies swept out to sea.  Although the Pakistani government had issued warnings for this storm, no large-scale evacuations were ordered.  This storm is considered the strongest tropical cyclone to have struck Pakistan and came just one year after the Gujarat cyclone that made landfall nearby in India.