Case Study - Cyclone Nargis Flashcards Preview

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when did the cyclone occur?

2nd May 2008


which region was worst affected?

the Irrawaddy Delta was hit by storm surges in excess of 7.6m


what were the windspeeds?



what was the cause?

developed from a low-pressure system in the Bay of Bengal during the last week of April that made landfall in the Irrawaddy Delta (Burma) and hugged the coastline, a departure from the typical rapid weakening of a storm upon moving inland.


what were the social impacts?

140,000 dead
2-3 million homeless
In the Irrawaddy Delta region, 95% of homes were destroyed

80,000 may have died in the town of Labutta alone


what were the economic impacts?

$10 billion cost
Total destruction of infrastructure, e.g phone lines, water supplies
Crops were destroyed and the fishing industry was damaged


what were the environmental impacts?

saltwater intrusion into farmland and water sources

Floodwaters destroyed fertile land and paddy fields


what were the political impacts?

The Junta's refusal to allow any aid into the country for one week after the event hardened the attitudes of the International Community to the regime


What was the local response?

it was very limited, knowledge of the cyclone had NOT reached the local level (no warning system, the government refused to share the warnings of the Indian Meteorological Department). There was no real infrastructure or proper rescue services.


what was the national response?

the government refused to accept any foreign aid until a week after the events, even then strict limits were imposed.
It took 3 weeks for a full-scale humanitarian response to be permitted.


why did the government ignore the Indian Meteorological Department's warnings and refuse to allow foreign aid into the country?

they didn't want their expressive regime to be exposed or threatened


was there mitigation after the event?

some, yes. Storm shelters were built and defenses were modeled on success in Bangladesh. The Military Dictatorship collapsed in 2011 which prompted more investment in mitigation strategies.