Cyclone Nargis Case Study (Overview (Caused the worst natural disaster in…
Cyclone Nargis Case Study
Caused the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Myanmar
Struck in May 2008
Damage comparable to the Asian Tsunami in 2004
A Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Developed from a low pressure system in the Bay of Bengal to a tropical depression in April.
Peak winds: 217km/h or 135mph
High winds and the low pressure created a storm surge, measuring 6.3 metres high
1.5 million people were severely affected
54,000 people missing
85,000 confirmed dead
Inaccurate death toll and missing people count as military leaders left the area shortly after the cyclone hit. If this proves to be the case, it is feared that up to 1 million people might have died in this disaster
75% of buildings in Labutta had collapsed and 20% had their roofs ripped off
Almost 95 percent of the houses and other buildings in seven townships were destroyed, Myanmar's government says
The number of deaths in Myanmar may have been under-reported (allegations that government officials stopped updating the death toll to minimize political fallout)
Myanmar government's decline to international aid and initial restrictions on even the most basic forms of assistance sparked international disapproval
Local food prices had increased two or threefold (according to a report submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Damage was estimated at over K62,988,000,000 (US$10 billion), which made it the most damaging cyclone ever recorded in this basin.
Burst sewage mains caused the landscape to flood with waste, ruining the rice crop
Local government declined international aid
Finally, Myanmar granted members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations admittance into the country to deliver aid.
After negotiations between Ban and the Myanmar head of state, Than Shwe, it was declared on 23 May that other international aid workers would be let into the country - a full 3 weeks after the cyclone struck.
The Myanmar government did not endorse international aid and placed harsh restrictions on the most basic forms of assistance
A full week after the cyclone made landfall, the government gave into international pressure to accept outside aid. However, this aid was limited to food, medicine and basic supplies, and foreign aid workers remained banned from the country.