Cyclone Management Plan, Strategies And Policies Assessment Answer

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Question :

What are various cyclone mitigation strategies, policies and plans that are currently practised internationally and what strategies, policies and plans are relevant to Myanmar? (especially housing sector, agriculture sector, infrastructure sector, and early warning system) ( case studies from 10 or more countries).

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Answer :



The purpose of this study is to identify and analyse different plans, strategies and policies related to cyclone management that are used internationally at present. Further, the strategy and methods for mitigating cyclone pertinent to Myanmar are also discussed concerning early warning system, housing, agriculture and infrastructure sector. Cases of cyclone management from 10 different countries are considered as examples for better understanding of the processes. Theories, concepts and models about cyclone risk mitigation are also applied and evaluated. 

Different cyclone mitigation policies, plans and strategies practised globally 

Tropical cyclones are cyclonically rotating, intense and low-pressure climate system, which is created over the tropical oceans. Intense refers to the wind speed of the cyclone that exceeds 17ms-1. Unadorned tropical cyclones with wind speed 33ms-1 near-surface are named hurricanes, form over the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the East Pacific ocean and called Typhoons over the Western North Pacific Ocean (Smith, 2006). 

According to Tan & Fang (2018), tropical cyclones or TCs lead to catastrophic loss in several coastal areas across the world. One of the main hazard of TCs is wind that not just damages property, but influences the concentration of other minor risks including waves and storm surges too. The wind hazard of TCs are often measured by the numerical distribution of tempest occurrence and intensity and is defined in the method of a wind speed map of the reoccurrence time. TC wind hazard map plays a crucial role in managing the disaster. An active display of local influences replicating the impact of space wise diverse land and land cover is essential to analyse the TC wind risk. For one location, the wind frequency is typically assesses with processes such as the extreme value theory or EVT. It is developed on ancient ground climatological explanations. For native sites, ground notes can be inadequate, and demonstration of stochastic or historical counterfeit TCs considering the Monte-Carlo method is required. Sahoo & Bhaskaran (2018) argued that for more significant areas, processes applying basin-wide stochastic reproductions of complete TC ways have been created. Parametric or statistical methods can stimulate a TC. Although mathematical techniques like WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting) model have been used largely in wind field renovation and predicting, parametric wind field model obtained acceptance in assessment TC wind threat due to its suitable modelling accurateness with inadequate TC factors as inputs. Typically, the main parameter can be acquired from the old database of TC trajectory, and huge exertions have been put to assemble the top tracks across the world. However, sometimes, derived parameters are of lower consistency, and the bad quality of TC Strictures can affect the dependability of the parametric models. Development on the assessment of TC wind vulnerability shows high provincial differences among regions and countries. The models are used in many TC-prone countries such as United StatesAustralia, and so on. For example, In Australia, the tropical cyclone risk model was formed. In the United States, the HAZUS hurricane model was developed. However, still, a considerable gap is there in the development of worldwide wind threat measurement. 

In contrary, Shultz (2018) stated that accurate macro-level planning depends on the partnership among oceanographic and atmospheric scientists, hydrologist, structural engineers, legal scholar, social scientists and urban planners in vigorous collaboration with public health, medical and health care experts, all merging their knowledge with crisis directors and disaster reaction employees. Besides, the macro-level brittle infrastructure has to be reconditioned and redesigned. Communication capabilities and regional satellites also need to be upgraded dramatically. 

Thus, the collaboration of different organisations and people associated to different activities related to cyclone risk management can make the management process even more effective and accurate. When all the experts come together, they can find better solutions that are more effective. Hence, this idea of collaboration can be applied to Myanmar for mitigating cyclonic risks. 

According to Walsh (2019), the relationship between the capability of General Circulation Models or GCMs to encourage tropical cyclones and progress of a climate theory of tropical cyclone creation can be explored for analysing the ability of GCMs and theories in assessing risk and hazard caused by the cyclone. While now GCMs can produce a practical simulation of the experiential TC formation degrees and strength distributions, they are very costly to use. Simpler techniques involve mathematical link between TC formation and climate variables that make the hazard assessment process easier. However, the GCMs do not create a theory on TC formation.

Hence, instead of applying costly technique, Myanmar can focus on using the methods, which use numerical connection for assessing hazards. As argued by Hoque et al. (2019), tropical cyclones have an impact on the lives of millions of people, environments and livelihoods, damaging properties in the coastal area of Bangladesh. The extent and intensity of TCs and their effects tend to rise in the upcoming time because of climate change. The eastern coastal area of the country is one of the most exposed regions by the cyclone. Therefore, an inclusive spatial valuation is necessary for creating a risk map by recognising areas with high risk for developing mitigation strategies. 

Cyclone risk-management strategies in Bangladesh –

In Bangladesh, the defencelessness of coastal people to wind hazards or cyclone and associated surges need different mitigation measures, and some of them are already applied. Structural measures such as coastal embankment, killas and cyclone shelters, enhanced housing conditions including the non-structural measures such as public awareness, coastal afforestation, local level contingency planning, community preparedness and social mobilisation are commenced for mitigating cyclone risks. For mitigating cyclonic damages in the coastal area, 1275 multi-purpose shelters and 2500 additional cyclone shelters are constructed. For guarding the lower agricultural land within the seaside belt from infusion and inundation of salty water at the time of high coastal tide, small height embankment has been offered by the government in almost all the coastal girdle. The embankments have been protecting the agricultural land from massive tide and repelling the small surges too. However, these embankments were not strong enough to fight with the rush of the retreating water. Therefore, the decision was taken pertaining to afforestation in the embankments for making them stronger. It was useful in not only fighting with the monsoon waves and surges but also in reducing the effect of surge largely (Miyan, 2019). 

On the other side, the cyclone risk -mitigation strategy in India can also be discussed here. Indian coasts are also highly susceptible to the tropical cyclone and the following repeated property and life loss. Now it is understood that by undertaking short and long-term management measures, the damage can be minimised. Mitigation of hazard risk is essential for sustainable development. Therefore, the government of India put great focus on being prepared, preventing and reduction. Hence, a broad National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) is conceptualised. ‘Developing Strategy for Cyclone Mitigation in the Coastal and Island Regions of India' was held on 4-5 Feb 2003, and it was a portion of the multi-hazard Mitigation Plan. The aim of the NCRMP is reducing exposure to the cyclone and making infrastructure and people disaster resistant in accord with the protection of the coastal ecosystem in the coastal hazard-prone regions of India (NDMA, 2019).  As stated by Panda (2015), the highly vulnerable states of India to cyclones are Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Odisha. High-risk mitigation strategies applicable and available to all the coastal hazards are categorised into three types including accommodation, protection and retreat. These strategies comprise of both non-structural and structural measures. Structural measures are any artificial or natural construction for avoiding or reducing the potential effects of hazards. It may include engineering structures, which are erected on the landscape as a way of hazard protection.  On the other side, non-structural hazards are regulations, policies and plans for prompting effective coastal management activities for minimising coastal hazards and risks from cyclones. Outreach and education campaigns, which increases risk awareness of the population, preparedness and vulnerability responses can be regarded as a non-structural measure. Protection is the process of using artificial and natural means for preserving inland development. Conventionally, protection from coastal flooding, erosion, tsunami inundation, storm surge has been advanced through managing by robust structural response. Some examples of usual protection include seawalls, offshore breakwaters, constructing groynes. In some highly populated regions exposed to cyclones, levees, dykes, flood gate and dams have been developed for protecting coastal populations at the time of extreme seal-level incidents.

Thus, applying both structural and non-structural measures is more effective for reducing risks of cyclone than applying just one type of measures. Besides, making embankment, cyclone shelters, raising awareness of general people on cyclone risk management is also necessary. It can help reducing coastal erosion and protect the agricultural land from saline water. 

Multi-pronged approach

It is not possible to address the vulnerability of the community to hazards with just one approach; therefore, a multi-prolonged approach can be most effective. It is needed for decreasing risks, including protection, retreat, and accommodating operations for handling the risk of the cyclone. Therefore, the combination of these three strategies was introduced for dealing with hazards. Consideration of a specific measure is relied on a broad range of factors such as the type of danger, the development level of region to be managed, the geographical scope, he timeframe, priorities identified by the risk and vulnerability analysis, the legal, socio-economic and political context and the potential and existing capacity of the community (Panda, 2015). 

Besides, this strategy the author has also talked about some long-term plans for cyclone risk management including erecting of cyclone shelter, renovation or erecting embankments and canals for improving the drainage system, plantation on shelterbelt and so forth. These are practised internationally (Panda, 2015): 

Constructing of cyclone shelter

A huge population live in the coastal areas do not have access to secure accommodations that can endure the rage of the cyclone. Hence, for the people who live within the range of 1.5 from the coast, cyclone shelters need to be erected. It ensures the safety of the residents having no access to proper shelters. Livestock requires to be offered with shelter for providing their wherewithal at the time of a disaster. Hence, the cyclone shelters need to be designed for use in several purposes such as community centre, school building or public utility construction for confirming that the buildings are utilised and managed in normal times. For effective maintenance of these buildings in aggressive lands, communities must have a sagacity of possession of these. Hence, communities for managing and maintaining cyclone shelter can be constituted for protecting these shelters. A quantity fund can be made with the committee for regular management. The communities can be stimulated to arrange funds by accumulating charges from populous using the buildings for cultural or social activities. Designing and creating comprehensive cyclone proof shelters that have resting and storage areas adequately high up the ground utilising erosion resistance and tough materials require to be addressed. 

Renovation or construction of canals-

In the deltaic regions, external communication is the main handicap for reaction activities. The thickness of the tidal streams are related to the sea tide and may not have a steady ridge. Thus, it becomes challenging erecting bridges on the ridges. A substitute to way communication can be a coastal waterway system. A canal channel in the coast would also be a proper technique of water management. Besides development to minor sanitation within the coastal areas can be considered for efficient water drainage that may incorporate reconstruction and repair of damaged and other disposed flood banks. Saline embankments protect people, agriculture field stocks from storm surge or saline water flood. Therefore, there is a requirement to protect disposed areas by repairing the existing ridges and making new ones.  

Cyclone tracking has become far more sophisticated and accurate in Australia. Tracy, a tropical cyclone hit Darwin on 24th December 1974 killed 65 people and damaged properties of around $800 million. Loosely designed buildings also created destruction. However, such a damaging scenario is doubtful to play out now as substantial technological developments in tracking cyclone meaning the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) can inform of a cyclone anticipated way and the probability of arrival many days beforehand. The observational data and computer weather models are improved now that provide longer times to the communities for being prepared for cyclone and severe weather condition comparing to the disaster of Darwin in 1974. The improvement in the tracking system allows people having higher confidence in weather forecasting that enables them to warn about weather events much earlier (ABC, 2019). 

Improvement in projecting cyclone

Figure 1: Improvement in projecting cyclone 

(Source: ABC, 2019)

A different strategy is applied in the Commonwealth of Bahamas. It is situated in the southeast of Atlantic Ocean. The country is also vulnerable to tropical cyclones. To protect the country and its people from the cyclone and associated risks, Risk Management Index or RMI is developed. The aim is to perform activities related to risk management. Therefore, the government has created a national Emergency movement Agency for coordinating the response and readiness to and managing emergencies on a national level by cooperation, collaboration and coordination between non-governmental and governmental assistance. The effort is also put for providing proper recovery and response to post-disaster period (IMF, 2019).

The strategies, policies and plans applied at different times for managing cyclone risks had their own specific significance at times. However, after identifying the gaps in the processes, the processes were upgraded for better managing risks. Considering the effectiveness of the current strategies and policies, Myanmar can implement the best possible strategies. 

Policies and plans related to Myanmar in agriculture housing and infrastructure sector and early warning system 

In Myanmar, the cyclone is also called typhoon or hurricane. In this country, the hurricane is categorised high. It means that there is over 20% chance of possibly damaging wind speeds within the upcoming ten years. Considering this information, the potential damage to the agricultural, infrastructural and housing sector can be estimated. Hence, proper planning is necessary for fighting against it. Additionally, the impact of climate change, including the worldwide average wind speed of tropical cyclone and rainfall is likely to upsurge in the future. Moreover, the chance of increasing the occurrence of most powerful tropical cyclones (Thinkhazard, 2019). Therefore, urgent need is there to implement suitable strategies, plans and policies. Examples of planned systems applied in different countries for mitigating risks from cyclone can be considered. For example, taking an idea from Bangladesh, Myanmar can protect its agricultural land from cyclonic effects by creating embankments in the coastal areas along with afforestation for making the embankments strangers. 

Example of China can also be taken into consideration here. Typhoon is one of the highly destructive natural hazards in the coastal region of China that has created significant property damage and personal injury throughout history. The most affected areas are at high risk include Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tianjin. All these three regions are densely populated with developed economy and low topography (Yin, Yin & Xu, 2013). In this context, Zhang et al. (2017) countered and said that, for managing the risk of the typhoon, an integrated risk assessment technique is applied for measuring the hazard factors and exposure to the disaster. Within the administrative regions of the Yangtze River Delta, the risk level of the typhoon is different in different areas. Thus, a combine national risk assessment can help the nation reducing the negative impact of the typhoon.

Hence, the Myanmar government can also take an integrated approach toward assessing risk from cyclones, so that appropriate measures can be made for minimising the risk. With the proper estimation of potential hazards forms typhoon disaster, the better early warning system can also be placed. The early true warning is considered as one of the most crucial short-term measures of risk mitigation. It can decrease the cyclone severity by taking timely actions. The extent to which this reduction can be influenced is depended on the correctness of the warning system.

Here the example of Cambodia can be taken into consideration. In Cambodia, the existing early warning system for disaster management is improved for managing risks more efficiently. As per the Cambodian Ministry of Resources and Meteorology, a critical concern in the nation is exposure of the coastal zone to tropical cyclones, floods, thunderstorms and flash floods. Therefore, a Disaster Management Information System is set up for developing a partnership between UNDP (Under the new Country Programme) and ADPC (Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre) (ADPC, 2019). Thus, the collaboration between the organisations responsible for managing disaster from cyclones in Myanmar can help the country overcoming losses of lives and infrastructural damages. Strengthening the early warning system will help in forecasting cyclones better and being prepared for it much earlier.

In this perspective, the success story of Phailin can also be considered that took place in Odisha coast and Andhra Pradesh coast. The loss of lives was minimum. Odisha shows how the perfect coordination among the State, Central and many government agencies can fight against a natural calamity successfully. Using trained personnel, a communication system of cyclone warning was developed by mass media. Accurate forecasting done by the Indian meteorological department played a significant role in mitigating the risk to minimum damages housing, infrastructural and agricultural lands (Panda, 2015). 

Another case example of Japan can be significant in this context, as it applied a differentiated approach. For reducing disaster risk, the country adopted a DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction) framework. The country also promotes international collaboration in DRR by measures containing multilateral cooperation through global agencies such as regional assistance in Asia, the UN and intergovernmental cooperation (Bousai, 2015). A disaster reduction framework can also be useful for Myanmar to protect its infrastructural and housing industry from cyclonic surges and effects. 

Sciencedaily (2018) opined that Mexico faces similar issue due to tropical hurricanes that are formed when masses of warm and cold air collide. Climate change is increasing the temperature of the sea surface that is influencing the formation of a hurricane. Therefore, in August 2017, when hurricane occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, the surface temperature of the sea was 32-degree centigrade. Hence, to reduce the surface temperature, the country is suggested to pull iceberg from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico. Further, some have advised to seed clouds with sea salt for making them snowier. It increases their reflectivity and reduces surface temperature eventually. 

However, these ideas may not be that much successful or effective for Myanmar. Instead of it, the nation can apply the tested and tried Norwegian technology named bubble curtain. The processes include furnishing bubbles of compacted air from a damaged pipe sunk in water that rise was taking colder water with them from the deep ocean. At the sea surface, the icy water blends with the hot surface water and makes it cooler. Thus, applying this method, Myanmar can prevent the occurrence of a hurricane by dropping the surface temperature under 26.5-degree centigrade. The pipes need to be situated at 100-150 meters depth for extracting cooler water and bringing it to the sea surface through the bubble curtains. Thus the energy supply to the hurricane can be stopped. 


The tropical cyclone is named differently in different countries of the world. However, it has a similarly devastating impact globally. Several mitigation techniques, measures, strategies and plans are there that can help countries minimising the loss of life and damage of properties. Therefore, taking an example from different countries such as India, China, Bangladesh, Norway and others, Myanmar can improve the mitigation measures effectively.