Tropical Cyclone Phailin has the potential to generate a surge at least 6 meters (20 feet) high. This surge height would be comparable to the storm surge generated by the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. This storm devastated Galveston Island, Texas, killing between 6,000 and 8,000 people in the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
These photos show the damage produced by this surge. The damage was especially catastrophic because Galveston had little flood protection. Unprotected areas along the Odisha coastline in India may experience similar levels of damage in the next 24 hours.