1876 Bengal cyclone

The Great Backerganj Cyclone of 1876 (29 October – 1 November 1876) was one of the deadliest cyclones in history. It hit the coast of Backerganj (near Meghna estuary) in present-day Barisal, Bangladesh, killing about 200,000 people, half of whom were drowned by the storm surge, while the rest died from the subsequent famine.[1][2]

Great Backerganj Cyclone of 1876
Super cyclonic storm (IMD scale)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Formed29 October 1876
Dissipated1 November 1876
Highest winds3-minute sustained: 220 km/h (140 mph)
1-minute sustained: 230 km/h (145 mph)
Lowest pressure945 hPa (mbar); 27.91 inHg
Fatalities200,000 total
Areas affectedBangladesh, India

The cyclone formed over the SE Bay of Bengal as a depression near 10.0°N and 89.0°E on 27 October, intensified into a cyclonic storm near 15.0°N and 89.0°E on 30 October and subsequently intensified into a severe cyclonic storm with a core of hurricane winds. The cyclone moved north up to the North Bay and then NNE.[1] On 31 October, the cyclone made landfall on Backerganj.[2]

The maximum wind speed was estimated at 220 km/h (140 mph) and the surge height was 3–13.6 m (9.8–44.6 ft).[1]

The first detailed modern study of the disaster was published in 2018: An Imperial Disaster: The Bengal Cyclone of 1876 by the New Zealander scholar Benjamin Kingsbury.


  1. ^ a b c SMRC-No.1 – The impact of tropical cyclones on the coastal regions of SAARC countries and their influence in the region, SAARC Meteorological Research Center (SMRC),1998.
  2. ^ a b Chowdhury, Masud Hasan. "Cyclone". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Retrieved 6 August 2015.