Statement from World Bank President Bob Zoellick in the aftermath of cyclone Nargis


This page in:

As the official estimate of fatal victims of cyclone Nargis raises to 22,000 --not counting the more than 40,000 missing--, World Bank President Bob Zoellick has just issued a statement:

"Our sympathy goes out to the thousands of victims of this terrible tragedy in Myanmar. I urge the government in Myanmar to allow relief agencies to reach those in need."

(Sadly, it's a vain attempt to try to keep this blog updated on the estimated death toll, and these postings are bound to become outdated fairly quickly in that aspect. Please check any major online news site or a news aggregator like Google News to keep track).


Join the Conversation

Saroj Kumar Jha
May 06, 2008

Cyclone Nargis reminded me of my days when I was coordinating Government response to cyclone 05 B, tropical cyclone that hit Orissa coast(India) in 1999 which killed more than 15000 people. Like in Orissa, here again it is the tidal waves associated with the storms that killed more than 22000 people. I have always felt very strongly about the need for a reliable and accurate early warning systems in all countries which are prone to climate-related disasters. Timely warning to people in the six affected divisions of Mynamar would have prevented this catastrophe or minimized the damage caused by cyclone Nargis.

It is now well-established that good information and communication alone can also save many lives and property in disasters. An early warning system based on state-of-the-art modeling and forecasting techniques supported by a fail-safe communication and dissemination system, can provide timely, accurate and reliable information to the vulnerable population and governments for emergency preparedness and speedy response. Yet one comes across large variations in the knowledge and practice of early warning systems in both the developed and developing countries.

I would strongly urge for a big push to making early warning a global priority as this is the most economical way of dealing with natural hazards in the changing climate. This is something achievable and will have huge impact in reducing the mortality. Needless to say that better early ewarning systems will have several co-benefits as well. More later