Effects of Tropical Cyclones

The main effects of tropical cyclones include heavy rain, strong wind, large storm surges at landfall, and tornadoes. The destruction from a tropical cyclone depends mainly on its intensity, its size, and its location. Tropical cyclones act to remove forest canopy as well as changes to the landscape near coastal areas, by moving and reshaping sand dunes and causing extensive erosion along the coast. Even well inland, heavy rainfall can lead to mudslides and landslides in mountainous areas.

After the cyclone has passed, devastation often continues. Standing water can cause the spread of disease, when transportation or communications infrastructure may have been destroyed, hampering clean-up and rescue efforts. Nearly two million people have died globally due to tropical cyclones. Despite their devastating effects, tropical cyclones are also beneficial, by potentially bringing rain to dry areas and moving heat from the tropics poleward.