Follow this link to skip to the main content
Hurricanes: Science and Society
1839- Coringa Cyclone

Coringa, India is a small village situated near the mouth of the Godavari River on the southeastern coast of India. It once was a bustling port city. In 1789, it was brutally hit by a cyclone that left some 20,000 dead. Though devastated, the port city was still able to function. On November 25, 1839, Coringa was slammed by a disastrous cyclone that delivered terrible winds and a giant 12 m (40 ft) storm surge. The port was destroyed (some 20,000 vessels were lost) and 300,000 people were killed. Never fully rebuilt, Coringa today remains a simple village.

Fast Facts:

  • This storm caused the third largest loss of life from any tropical cyclone worldwide, tied with Vietnam’s 1881 Haiphong typhoon (also causing 300,000 fatalities). Storms in the Bay of Bengal actually account for seven of the 10 deadliest hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones in recorded history.
  • Henry Piddington, an official of the British East India Company, coined the term cyclone sometime around 1840 after looking at the destruction caused in 1789 and 1839 by a “swirling circle.”


Coringa (village). Wikipedia. 2009. Web.

“Deadliest Tropical Cyclones in History.” Wunderground. 2009. Web.

Rahman, Serina. “Worst Natural Disasters in Asia.” Asian Geographic. 2009. Web.