Hazards Case Study- Cyclone Nargis

Cyclone Nargis

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Myanmar, Burma
Time and date
April 27, 2008 - May 7, 2008
Magnitude/ size
Category 4
Highest winds- 134 mph
Fatalities- 77,738 (as of May 16)
Missing: 55,917 (May 16)
Areas affected
Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Vulnerability, Myanmar
-No warning given due to lack of technology
-High poverty levels (weak infrastructure, most places rural )
-No shelters in the Irrawaddy delta
Vulnerability, Bangladesh
-36 hours were given in advance
-Population generally more aware of the cyclone than in Myanmar
Primary social effects (Myanmar)
- homes, schools destroyed
- 1,153 temples were destroyed
-800,000 people made homeless
Primary economic effects
-350,000 homes damaged
-4,000 schools destroyed
(Myanmar and Bangladesh)
-$10 billion damage
Primary environmental effects
Rice production reduced by 6%, fears in lack of food security
-Flooded 600,000 hectares of farmland
- Half of the livestock was killed
Secondary social effects
-Loss of family members
- Loss of homes, businesses, unemployment (agriculture greatly affected)
Secondary economic effects
-Mid-June- low amount of food
-Many farmers rented their equipment and in some cases their cattle, so when it was all destroyed they came even more heavily in debt than before
-$10 billion damage
- Affected rice and shrimp industries
-75% structures collapsed
Secondary environmental effects
-Rice fields flooded
-Farmland, livestock, and fisheries destroyed all over Myanmar
Immediate national response
-Government discouraged local help
International organizations (UNICEF, etc.) not allowed in, wanted to solve their problems themselves
-Economy not strong enough to deal
- Gov't didn't realize the conditions of their people, didn't know how to help
Immediate international response
Boats/helicopters full of supplies, but because they were American the Burmese did not accept it
-Eventually had to accept the aid
-aimed to provide shelter, food, water, medical supplies-
July 13- help from UN and NGOs was rejected
-Merlin Response Team (MRT)- came first week, set up medical tents; was both national and int'l
Long-term international response
-aimed to rebuild damaged infrastructure and restore livelihood
Prediction, Myanmar
Government was alerted of the hurricane but did not inform people
- Technology scarce in rural areas of Myanmar
Prediction, Bangladesh
- Bangladeshi people given 36 hours notice to get to shelters
-UN aimed to rebuild infrastructure and make it stronger in case of another storm