Typhoon Gay (1989)
Typhoon Gay, also known as the Kavali Cyclone of 1989, was a small but powerful tropical cyclone which caused more than 800 fatalities in and around the Gulf of Thailand. The storm originated from a monsoon trough over the gulf in early November. Gay became the first typhoon since 1891 to make landfall in Thailand, striking Chumphon Province.
About Typhoon Gay (1989) in brief
Typhoon Gay, also known as the Kavali Cyclone of 1989, was a small but powerful tropical cyclone which caused more than 800 fatalities in and around the Gulf of Thailand in November 1989. The storm originated from a monsoon trough over the gulf in early November. Owing to favorable atmospheric conditions, the storm rapidly intensified, attaining winds over 120 kmh by 3 November. Gay became the first typhoon since 1891 to make landfall in Thailand, striking Chumphon Province. The small storm emerged into the Bay of Bengal and gradually reorganized over the following days as it approached southeastern India. On 8 November, Gay attained its peak intensity as a Category 5-equivalent cyclone with winds of 260 kmh. The cyclone then moved ashore near Kavli, Andhra Pradesh. Rapid weakening ensued inland, and Gay dissipated over Maharashtra early on 10 November. The typhoon’s rapid development took hundreds of vessels by surprise, leading to 275 offshore fatalities. Of these, 91 occurred after an oil drilling ship, the Seacrest, capsized amid 6–11 m swells.
Across the Malay Peninsula, 588 people died from various storm-related incidents. Losses throughout Thailand totaled ฿11 billion. Striking India as a powerful cyclone, Gay damaged or destroyed about 20,000 homes in andhra Pradesh, leaving 100,000 people homeless. In that country, 69 deaths and ₹410 million in damage were attributed to Gay. According to the India Meteorological Department, Gay was the first Typhoon to form in the gulf of Thailand and enter the Bay of Bengal. Gay was also the worst typhoon to affect the Malay Peninsula in thirty-five years. It is the only typhoon ever to cause more than 100 deaths in the region. Gay is the most powerful tropical cyclone to have ever hit the Indian mainland. It has been named a modern-day super cyclonic storm, classifying Gay as a modern day super-day typhoon. Gay’s winds increased to 185 kmH, equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale, before making landfall in Ch Humphon Province, Thailand, at 0600 UTC.