Examining the storm protection services of mangroves of Orissa during the 1999 cyclone
The paper examines whether the mangrove forests in Kendrapada district of Orissa played any protective role during the severe cyclone that hit the state in October 1999. Using data on human casualties and damages suffered by the houses as dependent variables, and different meteorological, geophysical and socio-economic factors as independent variables, this study estimates a cyclone damage function to bring out the mitigating effects of the mangrove vegetation. The results show that mangroves did significantly reduce the occurrence of human deaths and the extent of damage to residential houses. Areas with mangrove protection are seen as having fewer fully collapsed houses and more partially collapsed houses. They are also found to have been more effective in reducing deaths than in reducing the damages to static properties.