Hurricanes are huge storms, which can measure about 650 km in diameter. These violent winds cause most damage by flattening whole buildings and uprooting trees. Hurricanes develop as clusters of thunderstorms over warm tropical seas. Ice crystals form on the top of the clouds. They tighten into a spiral with calm central ring of low pressure called a hurricane's eye. Air descends into the calm eye, leaving it free of the cloud.
The fastest sustained winds in a hurricane in the USA measured 322km/h, with 338km/h gust, on 17-18 August 1969, when Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi.
Hurricane Gordon Taken from the Space Shuttle
Improved system of predication and communication have reduced the loss of lives due to hurricanes. But the damage of properties still continues.
Hurricanes generally move in a path resembling the curve of a parabola. In the areas where the hurricanes travel in the same direction of the storm, the destruction is very high.
As hurricane pass over cool water or land, their intensity lessens.
In 1970 a tropical hurricane whipped up huge waves that suged over the low-lying mouth of river ganges in Bangladesh. Upto half a million people lost their lives. The hurricane moves along 25 to 50 km per hour as warmed air rises and swirls most powerful near its centre. Hurricanes speed generally varies.
The worst hurricanes of the 21st century are Hurricane Jeanne of 2004 which killed over 3,000 in Haiti, and Hurricane Karina of 2005 which left 1,417 dead in Louisiana, USA and neighbouring states.