- historical event: An incredible half-a-million people died in a short time due to the impact of strong hurricanes in Bangladesh and India. It happened at the delta of the Ganges, where the soil is very low over the river and thus where flooding has a tremendously devastating effect.
On this day Asia was hit by the strongest hurricane in contemporary history. In a short time it killed about 500,000 people. The hurricane swept through the densely populated areas of Bengal and present-day Bangladesh – the delta of the Ganges, where the soil is very low and floods have a devastating impact. The winds reached a speed of 185 kilometers per hour. Politically, that area mostly belonged to East Pakistan. Pakistan was at that time divided into two parts: the Western (now Pakistan) and Eastern (now Bangladesh). The Pakistani government was slow to react in rescue operations after the hurricane, which caused a revolt in East Pakistan. The unrest grew into a war for the independence of Bangladesh, which was successfully completed the following year (1971). Then the independent state of Bangladesh was created. Destruction during the Hurricane spurred the former Beatle George Harrison to organize the “Concert for Bangladesh”, the first major benefit concert in history. Next to Harrison performed Ravi Shankar, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton.