Weather-Related Loss & Damage Rising as Climate Warms

In 1999, a Category 5 cyclone devastated the state of Odisha in India, leaving 10,000 people dead and causing $4.5 billion in damages. Fourteen years later, Phailin, another monster storm almost as strong, hit the same stretch of the state – except this time with a very different outcome: Fewer than 40 people were killed and economic losses were about $700 million.

The reason for this dramatic turnaround was years of disaster risk prevention and preparedness resulting in a concerted effort by the state to build resilience against extreme weather. Early warning systems and annual storm drills in close cooperation with local communities were part of that effort.