Typhoon, Hurricane, Cyclone: What’s the Difference?

A girl runs for shelter in heavy rain brought by Cyclone Phailin in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on October 12, 2013.

A massive cyclone that slammed into India’s east coast on Saturday has left more than a dozen dead and forced more than a half a million people to flee homes that lie in vulnerable coastal and low-lying areas.

“This is one of the largest evacuations undertaken in India,” M. Shashidhar Reddy, vice chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, told reporters in the capital, New Delhi. “Our priority is to minimize loss of life.”

Cyclone Phailin (a Thai word for “sapphire”) is officially the strongest storm to batter India since Cyclone Odisha made landfall in the same region in 1999 and killed 10,000 people. At the peak of Phailin’s power, its winds reached speeds of up to 160 miles per hour (257 kilometers per hour). By Sunday, Phailin’s fierce winds had diminished to 80 miles per hour (129 kilometers per hour), and the cyclone’s strength continues to lessen as it moves farther inland.

If you’ve never lived in Asia, you might be wondering what it feels like to experience a typhoon. But if you’ve ever survived a hurricane or cyclone, you already know the answer.

That’s because hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are all the same weather phenomenon. Scientists just call these storms different things depending on where they occur.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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