Cyclone Nargis By: Malak Abdallah

This image is showing you the structure of a cyclone and how it forms

How do Cyclones form?

A cyclone is a rotating windstorm that rotates clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. Cyclones form over the warm ocean water of the tropics. When warm moist air over the water rises, it is replaced by cooler air. The cooler air will then warm and start to rise. This cycle causes huge storm clouds to form. These storm clouds will begin to rotate with the spin of the Earth. If there is enough warm water, the cycle will continue and the storm clouds and wind speeds will grow causing a cyclone to form.

This is an image of the formation of cyclone Nargis where it is beginning to hit Burma

How did Cyclone Nargis form?

Cyclone Nargis originated in the Bay of Bengal and set of north East, towards Burma on the 28th of April 2008 as an intense tropical depression. The wind speed than rapidly increased and the pressure dropped. On May 2nd, the cyclone hit Burma, and here it caused the greatest amount of damage as a category 4 hurricane with wind speed up to 135 Mph. It than started to weaken as it traveled east across Burma and traveled east towards Yangon.

Cyclone Nargis tracks


In early May 2008, Nargis passed over Burma(Myanmar) after forming in the Bay of Bengal. It then traveled east Mayanmer to the capital of Yangon reaching wind speeds of 135mph making it a category 4 storm. It also hit India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ayeyarwady Region. Burma is in the Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand.

The effect of Cyclone Nargis

The effects after cyclone Nargis hit

Cyclone Nargis happened in May 2008. Little warning was given. Cyclone Nargis was a category 4, with wind speeds of 215 km/h, measuring 6.3 metres high. Cyclone Nargis was the worst disaster Myanmar had and the eighth deadliest in the world. It killed over 84,500 people and over 55,500 people were missing. 2.4 million people were affected. Crops were destroyed (a lot of rice) and the shrimp fishing industry was damaged. People who survived were left without water, food and electricity.

More than 10,000 bodies (mainly children) were found in lakes, sea, rivers, etc.

Thousands of buildings were destroyed; in the town of Labutta, located in the Ayeyarwady Division. About 75% of buildings had collapsed and 20% had their roofs ripped off. The damage was estimated at over $10 billion, which made it the most damaging cyclone ever recorded. Also cyclone Nargis is the deadliest tropical cyclone in the world since Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which killed about 18,000 people. More than 400,000 hectares of farmland were flooded with seawater and more than 200,000 drafts animals were killed in the Yangon and Irrawaddy areas. Before the storm hit this area produced 3.3 million tons of crops on 900,000 hectares of land in the monsoon season and 1 million tons of crops on 200,000 hectares in the summer.

The Governments reaction

The Mayanmar government had been warned about the cyclone from India 48 hours before the cyclone hit but somehow failed to see the seriousness of the situation and did little to warn people or attempt to help. As a result, people were completely unprepared. Also after the cyclone was over other countries tried to help, but the government refused the assistance. Days after the cyclone the government decided to allow supplies to enter the country but still refused to let aid workers into the country until almost a month after the cyclone.

Developed Countries aid

  • Canada donated 2 million dollars
  • Australia donated 23.5 million dollars
  • Bangladesh donated 20 tonnes of food,medicine
  • Denmark donated 2.1 million dollars
  • Germany donated 3 million dollars
  • China donated 10 million dollars in aid and relief
  • Loas donated 20 thousand dollars worth of food
  • Norway donated 1.96 million dollars
  • Russia donated 80 tonnes of food, generators, medicines and blankets

MEDCs Compared to a LEDCs country

LEDCs can’t prepare as much as MEDCs because they are less wealthy and educated. LEDCs don’t have any equipment to check if a cyclone is coming and even if they did, most wouldn’t understand what it meant. Even if a cyclone was predicted by another country to hit the LEDC it would be hard to let the citizens of the LEDC know and convince them to evacuate or prepare because of language barriers and little to no education. Another reason why LEDCs can’t prepare as well as MEDCs is because LEDC’s buildings are usually flimsy, unsafe and wouldn’t stand a chance against a cyclone. Because LEDCs lack money and knowledge they can’t build ‘cyclone-safe’ buildings.

LEDCs rely on aid for funding while MEDCs rely on the government. An LEDC’s response to a cyclone is usually slow because there aren’t really any emergency services or governments to tell them what to do or help them out. Other countries will usually send people over to help out an LEDC but that might take a day or so. This is very different to MEDCs who would usually start the clean up as soon as possible which is usually the next day. Which was the same situation in cyclone Nargis, the government was not able to provide the right information when the cyclone was going to hit and also that the government didn't take quick actions after the cyclone hit rather than in a MEDCs country.


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