www.nature.com | August 3, 2021
Two severe cyclones, Tauktae and Yaas, made landfall in India in May. They killed 199 people and affected 37 million more, damaging houses, infrastructure and agriculture at an estimated cost of 320 billion rupees (US$4.3 billion). As cyclones become more frequent, putting further measures in place to mitigate the effects of such disasters is increasingly urgent.
Cyclones regularly hit India’s 7,500-kilometre coastline, and about 7% of the world’s tropical cyclones originate in the North Indian Ocean. Since 1999, such events have killed more than 12,000 people and caused damage worth $32.6 billion. Improvements in early-warning systems and disaster management have helped to reduce the death toll but not the economic hit.
Embankments that are resilient to storm surges are needed urgently, along with improved prevention of flooding from swollen rivers. Shelter-belt plantations should be widened and coastal mangrove habitats regenerated. Such measures could markedly reduce the impact of India’s cyclones.
Nature 596, 35 (2021)
- Prof. Joyita Roy Chowdhury, Assistant Professor - Economics
- Prof. Yashobanta Parida, Assistant Professor – Economics
- Prof. Prakash Kumar Sahoo, Vikram Deb (Autonomous) College, Jeypore, India.