Typhoon Haiyan: What are the strongest and most destructive tropical cyclones on record?

Typhoon Haiyan has claimed thousands of lives on The Philippines island of Leyte, and frantic efforts are under way to get food, water, and medical care to tens of thousands of survivors. The storm may be among the most powerful ever recorded. What are some of the others?

By , Staff writer

2. Hurricane Gilbert, 1988

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    Hurricane Gilbert.
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The National Weather Service says that Hurricane Gilbert, which was at its peak between Sept. 8-19 in 1988, had the second-lowest pressure ever recorded for an Atlantic hurricane and winds up to 184 miles an hour. The storm's fury was spent mostly in the Caribbean, particularly over Jamaica on Sept. 12 and 13. It was the first hurricane to score a direct hit on Jamaica in nearly 40 years. The storm claimed 45 lives there and damaged more than half of the island's homes - a bill of more than $8 billion in damage at a time when Jamaica's gross domestic product was about $4 billion. Then Prime Minister Edward Seaga said the storm had left parts of eastern Jamaica where the storm had touched down looking "like Hiroshima after the atom bomb." In the next year, Jamaica relied on an emergency IMF loan facility to make ends meet.

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