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The 1978 cyclone in Eastern province (JTWC designation: 04B) was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike Eastern province of Sri Lanka on November 23, 1978.[1] The cyclone was started at local time 6.30 pm and continued to next day morning and damaged the areas from Trincomalee to Arugam bay. In eastern province, Akkaraipattu, Ninthavur, Kalmunai, Kaluwanchikuddy, Pattiruppu, Chettipalayam, Thalankudah, Kattankudy, Batticaloa, Eravur and Kalkudah were most affected area due to cyclone's vortex zone.[2]

Very severe cyclonic storm (IMD scale)
Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Tropical Cyclone 04B on November 23, 1978
Cyclone 04B at peak intensity
FormedNovember 19, 1978
DissipatedNovember 29, 1978
Highest winds3-minute sustained: 140 km/h (85 mph)
1-minute sustained: 205 km/h (125 mph)
Lowest pressure953 hPa (mbar); 28.14 inHg
FatalitiesAbout 1000 died
Areas affectedEastern Province, Sri Lanka
Part of the 1978 North Indian Ocean cyclone season

Due to the cyclone, approximately a thousand persons died, more than one million people affected, nearly 250,000 houses partially and completely damaged, 240 school buildings damaged, one fifth of Batticaloa's fishing fleet smashed up, 9 of the 11 paddy stores destroyed, 90 percent of the coconut plantation (28,000 odd acres of coconut plantation) in the Batticaloa district destroyed. Government had spent over LKR 600 million in order to response to the disaster. A post cyclone survey found that approximately 130 miles of electric cables were laid, so many religious building were destroyed or damaged. The cyclone resulted to people suffer without electricity, water and debris of fallen buildings, trees, etc.[3][4] TIROS-N was observation satellite during the disaster and it was able to inform and to capture images.

Due to Sri Lanka being very unprotected, it is prone to US Millions of damage.[5]


  1. ^ "Disaster Profile - Sri Lanka". Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  2. ^ Neelavannan (1979). 12 மணி நேரம் (The 12 hours). Jaffna, Sri Lanka. p. 29.
  3. ^ "Disaster Information Management system in Sri Lanka".
  4. ^ "Batticaloa's blackest day". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  5. ^ "Unprotected Railway Gates Union Re-Commences Trade Union Action".

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