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Hurricane or tropical cyclone is a circular air movement over the warm ocean waters in the tropical part of Earth near the [equator. Most tropical cyclones create strong winds and heavy rains. While some tropical cyclones stay out in the sea, others pass over land, which can be dangerous because they can cause a lot of damage.

Hurricane Rita 24 hours after its peak intensity.

Hurricane forms in the warm parts of the earth when moist, hot air rises. It begins as a group of storm winds when the water gets as hot as 80 degrees or hotter. The Coriolis effect causes the winds to spiral.

Tropical cyclones are usually given names because it helps in forecasting, tracking, and reporting. They are named once they have steady winds of 62 km/h. Committees of the World Meteorological Organization pick names. Once named, a cyclone is usually not renamed.[1]


Gulfport, Mississippi: damaged city struck by Hurricane Katrina, 2005.

When tropical cyclones make landfall, they may create some damage. Tropical cyclones are also known to kill people and destroy cities. In the last 200 years, about 1.5 million people have been killed by tropical cyclones.

Wind damages can account up to 83% of the total damages caused when broken wreckage pieces from destroyed objects can become deadly flying pieces.[2] Flooding can also occur when rainfalls and/or storm surges pour water onto land.[3]

There is a possibility of indirect deaths after a tropical cyclone makes landfall. For example, New Orleans, Louisiana suffered from poor sanitary conditions after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.[4]

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  1. Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Hurricane Research Division. "Frequently Asked Questions: What are the upcoming tropical cyclone names?". NOAA. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  2. Chris Landsea (1998). "How does the damage that hurricanes cause increase as a function of wind speed?". Hurricane Research Division. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  3. James M. Shultz, Jill Russell and Zelde Espinel (2005). "Epidemiology of Tropical Cyclones: The Dynamics of Disaster, Disease, and Development". Oxford Journal. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  4. Staff Writer (2005-08-30). "Hurricane Katrina Situation Report #11" (PDF). Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) United States Department of Energy. Retrieved 2007-02-24.