Storm protection by mangroves in Orissa: an analysis of the 1999 super cyclone

This study assesses the storm protection role afforded by mangroves. It uses data on human casualties, damages to houses and livestock losses suffered in the Kendrapada district of the State of Orissa during the super cyclone of October 1999. The analysis incorporates meteorological, geo-physical and socio-economic factors to separate out the impact of mangrove vegetation on cyclone damage. The results indicate that the mangroves significantly reduced human death and seemed more effective in saving lives (both human as well as animals) than in reducing damage to static property. While there was significant reduction due to mangroves in damage to residential houses and to big animals like cattle and buffaloes, these results were not robust.