25 Scariest Typhoons to Ever Make Landfall

Posted by , Updated on March 25, 2024

The recorded history of typhoons dates back for centuries. While we don’t know a lot about the first typhoons, we know plenty now.

We can now track where these typhoons go, and we can gain insights on how fast they travel. We know the wind speeds they produce and how much damage they can cause.

With weather conditions such as typhoons and hurricanes getting worse and worse, it’s important to remind ourselves just how destructive these events can be.

Today we look at some of the worst typhoons in history. Here are the 25 Scariest Typhoons to Ever Make Landfall.





Typhoon Bess struck Japan in August 1982 and cut across the most populated areas of Japan.

By Mount Hidegadake, in Nara, a peak rainfall total of 42.4 inches, including 36.3 inches in just 24 hours. Super Typhoon Bess was responsible for $2.38 billion in damage and 95 fatalities.




Typhoon Jebi was the most intense tropical cyclone to make landfall in Japan since Typhoon Yancy in 1993, causing significant damage in the Kansai region.

While the casualties were kept low Jebi still managed to do $12.8 Billion in damage. Making it the third most costliest typhoon in history, behind only Mireille and Hagibis. (We’ll get to those later)




When Typhoon Tokage hit in 2004 it was the most fatal typhoon to strike Japan since Typhoon Bess. Tokage was the last of three typhoons to impact Japan from September to October 2004.

A total of 18,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes. Damages from the storm amounted to $2.3 billion.




Typhoon Karen was the most powerful typhoon that the island of Guam and is considered one of the islands most destructive events.

It destroyed 95% of all housing in Guam leaving over 40,000 people without homes. In the aftermath people had to be evacuated to Hawaii, California, and Wake Island because people had nowhere else to go.




Typhoon Forrest makes it mark on the history of Typhoons by being the fastest growing typhoons ever recorded.

It went from tropical storm status to fully fledged super typhoon in just under a day. It brought eleven inches of rainfall with it as it damaged over 40,000 homes.




One of the more recent Typhoons on this list. Typhoon Megi made landfall in 2010 and it was classified as a category 5 super typhoon.

It’s known as one of the costliest typhoons to ever hit the Philippines as it did $255 million in damages.




Although Typhoon Wanda was only categorized as a category 2 typhoon it caused significant damage in Hong Kong.

It damaged a great number of fishing ships and left over 70,000 people homeless.




Vongfong was classified as the sixth super typhoon of 2014 shortly before it reached its peak intensity. 


It was indicated that Vongfong had become equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, with 180 MPH winds. It maintained this intensity for a total of 30 hours.




Typhoon Nancy didn’t do nearly as much damage as some of the other Typhoons on this list (We’ll get those later). No Nancy Gins it’s spot on this list due to it’s incredible speed.


At 215 MPH Typhoon Nancy holds the record of the typhoon with the highest winds. It also held it’s category 5 classification for a grand total of 132 hours.




Typhoon Ida was a category 5 typhoon that hit Japan on September 20th, 1958. The landslides that it caused destroyed over two thousand buildings and swept away hundreds of bridges.


Two foot tall tides destroyed over 120,000 acres of rice fields. It claimed the lives of over one thousand people and left 12,000 people homeless.




The 1991 Typhoon Mireille has become known as the costliest typhoon ever on record. 

Ahead of the storm 99 typhoon bulletins were issued, warning residents about Mireille. There were 236 warnings related to storm surge, high winds, waves, and flooding.

In total Mireille did $18.8 billion in damage across several countries.




The 2019 Typhoon Lekima was the second costliest typhoon in Chinese history. 


It did $9.26 Billion in damages in China alone. It also indirectly affected the Philippines by enhancing a monsoon which caused massive flooding. 




Typhoon Neoguri hit multiple nations during the 2014 typhoon season but it did most of its damage when it made landfall in Japan.


It was reported that in just three cities alone there were over 10,000 power outages.

In Japan alone Neoguri did an estimated $632 million in damages. Not only that but the passage that Neoguri took to make landfall brought with a massive heat wave that saw temperatures of 100 degrees fahrenheit. 





Typhoon Haiyan is one of the most powerful Tropical Cyclones ever recorded. When it made its first landfall on November 7th, 2013 its winds reached up to 145 MPH, and it sustained this speed for ten minutes.

Haiyan devastated five different countries in Asia and left 11 million people homeless. Not only that but it also did $2.98 Billion of damage.




Just one year after Ida Caused massive damage Japan experienced it’s strongest typhoon yet. Typhoon Vera.

Vera was classified as a category 5 super typhoon when it hit on September 20th, 1959. It destroyed thousands of homes, ruined coutless crops, and flooded rivers and it left over 1 million people homeless.




Typhoon Nina was a category 4 typhoon that appeared hit China in 1975. Whereas most typhoons do the most damage from winds, Nina caused it’s damage with the mass amounts of flooding it caused.

The flooding triggered by the collapse of the Banqiao Dam in Zhumadian City. Not only that but the flooding caused other smaller dams to collapse as well, causing even more flooding.




The 2018 Typhoon Mangkhut caused extensive damage in Guam, the Philippines and South China. It was also the strongest typhoon to make landfall anywhere in the Philippines since Haiyan in 2013.


Mangkhut left behind a trail of severe destruction in its wake. It caused a total of $3.77 billion in damages across the multiple nations it hit.




In 2018 the Northern Mariana Islands were hit by super typhoon Yutu. It struck just a few months after the islands were ravaged by Typhoon Mangkhut.

It caused massive damages to the remote US territories and due to a slow response time the Mariana islands are still feeling the effects of the typhoon.




Typhoon Souldelor was the third most intense typhoon in 2015 and it was the worst typhoon the northern Mariana Islands had experienced since Typhoon Yutu.


At peak intensity it had ten-minute maximum sustained winds of 215 km/h (130 mph). It also broke a record, leaving 4.85 million households on the island without power.




Just two months removed from a devastating typhoon in 2001 Taiwan suffered from typhoon Nari. Landslides caused by the typhoon’s massive rainfall buried people and entire buildings.

At the height of the storm nearly 650,000 were left without power and 350,000 lost water and telephone services. Even the metro system took over six months to fix due to the  massive flooding.




As a weakened typhoon, Melor made landfall in Japan on October 7, 2009 with wind gusts over 100 mph, causing massive power outages. At the height of the storm, an estimated 500,000 residences were without power.

The effects of Melor were also felt in California breaking several rainfall records. The remnants of Melor were able to produce up to 70MPH winds and 10 inches of rain in the Santa Cruz Mountains.




The Typhoon originally made landfall in Haiphong, Vietnam in 1881 and is to this day the third most lethal Typhoon ever recorded. 


It’s category is unknown but what is known from historical records is that it was massive.




Typhoon Hagibis hit Japan in late 2019 and was the strongest to hit in decades. There were more than 850 confirmed incidents of landslides and mudflows, the highest number recorded since 1982.

In fact Hagibis did so much damage that at the time of making this list clean up is still being done and will likely continue for years to come.




This category 5 super typhoon hit Japan and South Korea in 1959 but it caused most of its damage along the coast of Korea.

Sarah was the worst typhoon that South Korea had seen in 50 years. It’s wind speed topped out at 105 MPH, which at the time was the highest ever recorded.

It left over 750,000 people homeless in South Korea alone and caused over $100 million of property damages.




To this day Typhoon Tip is the largest and most intense category 5 super typhoon ever recorded. At its peak strength it had a diameter of 2,220 km (1,380 mi for us american folk).


It was so large in fact that it’s effects were felt in Korea, the Philippines, China, Japan, parts of Russia, and even Alaska.

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Tropical Cyclone Gita 2018 02 10"Tropical Cyclone Gita 2018 02 10" by anttilipponen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Stormy Weather"Stormy Weather" by Rexness is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Inundação pelo Tufão Hagibis, Japão / Flooding by Hagibis Typhoon, Japan"Inundação pelo Tufão Hagibis, Japão / Flooding by Hagibis Typhoon, Japan" by Coordenação-Geral de Observação da Terra/INPE is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Ton Duc Thang street"Ton Duc Thang street" by MrTMan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Tropical Cyclone Nora 2018 03 24"Tropical Cyclone Nora 2018 03 24" by anttilipponen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Tropical Cyclone Mekunu 2018 05 25"Tropical Cyclone Mekunu 2018 05 25" by anttilipponen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Typhoon Soudelor Seen from the ISS"Typhoon Soudelor Seen from the ISS" by NASA Earth Observatory is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Typhoon #11"Typhoon #11" by Mr Wabu is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Typhoon Champi Develops Massive Eye"Typhoon Champi Develops Massive Eye" by NASA Goddard Photo and Video is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Relief supplies"Relief supplies" by RSCJ Photos is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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Typhoon Neoguri in the East China Sea"Typhoon Neoguri in the East China Sea" by NASA Goddard Photo and Video is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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File:Typhoon Lekima affected in Suzhou-20190810.jpg"File:Typhoon Lekima affected in Suzhou-20190810.jpg" by Shwangtianyuan is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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File:4079Typhoons Krosa-Lekima monsoon tidal flooding in Calumpit, Bulacan 23.jpg"File:4079Typhoons Krosa-Lekima monsoon tidal flooding in Calumpit, Bulacan 23.jpg" by Judgefloro is licensed under CC0 1.0

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20040716 001 Typhoon 8.JPG"20040716 001 Typhoon 8.JPG" by Sheta is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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After a Typhoon"After a Typhoon" by ullrich.c is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Vongfong — the strongest tropical cyclone of the year, equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane, headed for Japan. Be careful, friends."Vongfong — the strongest tropical cyclone of the year, equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane, headed for Japan. Be careful, friends." by BitBoy is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Storm at Kuala Kedah"Storm at Kuala Kedah" by Marufish is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Typhoon Soudelor damage on Saipan"Typhoon Soudelor damage on Saipan" by Western Area Power Admin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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2005 Cyclone Percy, Tokelau"2005 Cyclone Percy, Tokelau" by DFAT photo library is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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File:Kyoto after Typhoon Jebi 10.jpg"File:Kyoto after Typhoon Jebi 10.jpg" by Christophe95 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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File:Kyoto after Typhoon Jebi 07.jpg"File:Kyoto after Typhoon Jebi 07.jpg" by Christophe95 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0