Tropical cyclones are rapidly-rotating storm systems that rotate (counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere) around a low pressure centre. They are generally slow moving but severe, with winds of between 120-320 kilometres an hour. They have different names depending on where they happen: cyclones in Southeast Asian waters and the Indian Ocean, typhoons in East Asian and Pacific waters and hurricanes in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean sea. Most cyclone-related deaths are from flooding, but also from electrocution, collapsed structures and blowing debris.


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Do you know how to prepare for a cyclone?

Do's and don'ts

  • Prepare an evacuation plan, route and mode of transport
  • Build and maintain your home with severe cyclones in mind
  • Don't assume if it's calm the danger has passed, you could be in the cyclone's eye
  • Work with your community to identify shelters and store provisions
  • Keep trees and bushes well trimmed
  • Keep your vehicle fuel tank filled in case of evacuation
  • Follow official advisories such as cyclone watches and warnings
  • Stay out of the way of damaged buildings and hazards
  • Give first aid where appropriate and safe to do so
  • Don't leave animals outside, take them with you or move them inside

Watch: how to prepare for a hurricane, cyclone or typhoon