Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Fishermen in Puri, India pull a boat to higher ground ahead of the impact of Tropical Cyclone Fani. Photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images

Tropical Cyclone Fani, currently a Category 4 storm, is expected to make landfall near the city of Puri on Friday.

The big picture: The Bay of Bengal has a devastating history of deadly storms. The most tragic was the Great Bhola Cyclone in November of 1970 — with an estimated 300k-500k death toll that makes it the deadliest tropical cyclone in history.

Why so many tropical cyclones form in the Bay of Bengal:

  • High sea surface temperatures
  • High availability of moisture
  • Complexes of thunderstorms are frequent from the Indian Monsoon and tropical weather cycles such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation. These can generate cyclones given the right conditions.

Mitigating disaster: Both countries have improved storm preparedness in recent years to decrease death tolls. In Bangladesh, 56,000 volunteers have been enlisted in coastal areas, warnings have been made through loudspeakers and via mobile phone call trees, and hundreds of thousands of pounds of food and supplies have been brought in.

The deadliest tropical cyclones from the Bay of Bengal (via Weather Underground):

  1. Great Bhola Cyclone — Bangladesh — 1970 — 300,000-500,000 deaths
  2. Hooghly River Cyclone — India and Bangladesh — 1737 — 300,000
  3. Coringa — India — 1839 —300,000
  4. Backerganj Cyclone — Bangladesh — 1584 — 200,000
  5. Great Backerganj Cyclone — Bangladesh — 1876 — 200,000
  6. Chittagong — Bangladesh — 1897 — 175,000
  7. Cyclone 02B — Bangladesh — 1991 — 138,866
  8. Cyclone Nargis — Myanmar — 2008 — 138,366
  9. Bangladesh — 1942 — 61,000
  10. India — 1935 — 60,000

Why Bay of Bengal storms are so deadly:

  • The low-lying coastal areas of both countries are densely populated, raising the specter of human loss when a storm hits.
  • The shape of the Bay of Bengal compounds cyclones’ storm surge, often pushing water well inland.

Go deeper

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.