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Henry Piddington vs. The Cyclone

Cyclone Catarina from the International Space Station (Source: WIkipedia (Cyclone))

In 1840, after investigating numerous reports on devastating tropical storms around the world and in particular, a storm that claimed 20000 lives in 1789 in Corianga village in modern day Andhra Pradesh, an English captain named Henry Piddington presented his results to the Asiatic Society of Bengal. In it, he provided detailed ground-breaking information on the nature of the phenomena and their structure. He dubbed them cyclones, a term derived from the Greek word kyklon meaning "to move in a circle, whirl". He later also published a handbook on the subject titled The Sailor's Horn-book for the Law of Storms.

On a related note, in 1854, Piddington warned against the construction of Port Canning in the Sunderbans. His warning that the location of the port would make it highly susceptible to cyclone damage went unheeded. Port Canning, which was built to rival Bombay and Singapore, was completely swamped in 1867 and finally, abandoned five years later.