When the massive storms come onshore with brutal winds and heavy rains, the world takes notice and communities can be devastated. Here's more about some of the world's worst storms.
Every year as storm season approaches, residents in vulnerable coastal areas prepare to board up windows and scoot farther inland at a moment's notice. Here are the times that Mother Nature's fury has wreaked the most havoc with violent winds and torrential rain, whether called hurricanes, typhoons or cyclones.
Beginning in 1953, hurricanes were given predetermined names -- intended to make communications about a particular storm easier -- by the National Hurricane Center. After all, say there are multiple storms developing simultaneously. Nomenclature eases communication about which storm is headed for the Gulf Coast, which might make landfall in Mexico, etc. People need to be properly prepared for the accurate event that may affect them. The pre-prepared lists for each year are now maintained by the U.N. body World Meteorological Organization.
The 2008 hurricane season continued with deadly Ike, a September storm that lashed the Caribbean with Category 3 ferocity, leaving at least 80 dead in its path, and barreled toward the Gulf Coast.
Hurricane Katrina, with peak winds of up to 175 mph, roared through the Gulf of Mexico in August 2005, bringing down the levee system that kept New Orleans from being underwater. More than 1,800 people died in the catastrophic storm and chaotic aftermath that caused more than $80 billion in damage and scattered Gulf residents to livable areas. Here are photographs from that catastrophic event in American history.
Rattled by the destruction of Katrina three years before, residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, and other Gulf Coast areas fled in a historic evacuation as Hurricane Gustav bore down on the United States.
After deadly Category 4 Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar/Burma on May 2, 2008, relief efforts were hampered by the unwillingness of the military junta to accept outside help. Foreign media were kept out without first obtaining hard-to-get visas, and death toll estimates ranged from the official government tally of around 22,000 to outside estimates of up to 100,000 dead. When some journalists finally squeezed into the country, a true picture began to unfold of the devastating effect the storm had on the already beleaguered nation.