Hurricane Katrina and Cyclone are two examples of tropical storms that affected areas drastically apart in economic development. One way in which MEDC’s and LEDC’s differ is through infrastructure. In an MEDC such as the USA there are strict building codes ensuring that buildings are able to withstand hazards – in Katrina’s case hurricane force winds. This significantly reduces impacts on a social level evidenced by the death toll of 1000 people in the USA compared to the 84,500 deaths in Myanmar as a result of Nargis.
This is due to buildings in a developed country such as the USA generally staying upright in many cases providing refuge from floods and strong wind whereas in Myanmar a lot of homes are self built with weak foundations meaning they are easily washed away by floods. A further way in which the impacts differ due to infrastructure is on an economic level with Nargis costing $4bn while in the US the financial cost was $200bn. The reason for this was in New Orleans, the area Katrina primarily affected, there were high levels of development with lots of buildings on the vulnerable coastal areas where the storm hit.
In a less economically developed country like Myanmar there is less infrastructure and it is usually concentrated in inner areas reducing the economic cost. However due to Myanmar’s significantly weaker economy the economic costs can still be argued to be more impactful with the countries GDP of $52 billion compared to the US’s $15 trillion. Additionally $40 billion of the costs were covered by insurance companies in the US indicating how a significant proportion of the costs were taken by major companies. On the other hand in Myanmar very few had insurance which meant the economic impacts on individuals were reater. Another aspect that is a significant factor for the severity of impacts is job structure. In the US the primary industries are tertiary and secondary with the least in primary and a large amount of food imported. This meant that whilst there were large disruptions of service and business these were mainly short term impacts with the majority of business returning to normal capacity within a year. This was not the case in Myanmar with the loss destruction of Paddy fields by saline water as well as 6 months of rice fields yielding 30% of what they should have been.
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These impacts were significantly greater than in the US when considering the primary employment sector is agriculture in an LEDC such as Myanmar. As a result the destruction of crops was significantly detrimental to the economy as it affected almost the whole populations demographic. Furthermore the loss of 70% of fishing equipment further exemplified effects with huge problems like food shortages arising as people also grew crops for themselves and imported less food than in a country as affluent as the US.
One way in which the effects of Nargis had a lesser impact then in New Orleans however was in the changes to demographic. In Katrina mainly due to a significantly lower GDP per capita people could not afford to move away from the areas affected leaving most residents staying in the area and helping rebuild over the long term. On the other hand this was much different in the USA. Many who could afford to decided to move out of the worst areas hit like the New Orleans.
The effect of this was a long term change to the areas demographic which resulted in economic consequences as those moving were generally the economically active. This resulted in the problem of the poorest being left behind leading to long term impacts such as deprivation. One way in which impacts can be reduced is through responses. Responses include both preparation and how the country reacts once the disaster has occurred. In the case of Katrina there were advanced warnings in place 2 days before the storm and a state of emergency declared 1 day in advance.
Burma is a developing country located at the Southeast region of Asia. 61 years ago, Burma was under the colony of Britain but through the struggle and passion of the “48 million multi-ethnic people” of Burma, they gained their independence. As a result, an independent democratic parliament government with a new constitutional system was established which have helped in providing structure to the ...
Additionally risk assessments had also been published and an evacuation of New Orleans was ordered on the day. Whilst many argued that this was too late the majority of the population still did manage to leave in private cars with 150,000 remaining the majority by choice. The ability of many being able to evacuate so easily is another aspect that differs as in a country of high development such as the US private car ownership is high whilst it is significantly lower in an LEDC. The combined effect of advanced warnings and efficient evacuation thus aided in a significantly lower death toll in the US.
In Myanmar however the government was significantly less prepared, whilst systems were in place to detect flooding they were significantly less advanced than in an MEDC such as the US with India having to further warn Myanmar of the incoming storm. One of the reasons Nargis’s death toll was so high however was the lack of spreading this information, due to a lack of infrastructure in the form of tv, internet radio etc many were not notified of the storms and additionally to this few could evacuate and escape its effects. The responses once the storm hit also differed greatly.
In response to Nargis where 2. 4 million were affected complications with the governments policies meant that aid from many countries failed to efficiently reach the country in time. In some cases villages received no help for 20 days after the cyclone exemplifying impacts. This lack of immediate response also facilitated the spread of disease after the cyclone further adding to the death toll. Overall a large amount of the responses in Myanmar came from the help of other countries which was ultimately hindered by Myanmar’s foreign policies.
In the US’s case however it was the own government that provided an immediate response to the disaster through the mobilisation of the military as well as public donations of $1. 8 billion to the Red Cross alone. Where the impacts were greatest in New Orleans were on socioeconomic levels over the long term. Due to the changing demographic and lack of support from the government the area has remained deprived with many houses remaining unfixed instead temporary solutions such as “dollar caravans” are still in place suggesting neglecting by the government with a lack of long term solutions.
Role of free trade and how it has impacted developing countries’ trade Introduction Free trade is a trade where countries carries out economic activities “without restrictions or barrier such as import and export tariffs”, barrier to market entry and policies (Johnston, Gregory, & Smith, 2011, free trade). Many countries have reaped benefits from free trade and especially ...
In conclusion the impacts of a tropical storm has varying impacts on countries with differing levels of development. I would overall agree with the statement as the greatest impacts are in LEDC’s such as Myanmar where deaths are significantly higher and statistics like 54,000 still being missing 6 months after indicate a lack of organisation. In some aspects though the impacts can be seen to be greater in an MEDC however these are less significant impacts such as changes to an areas demographic.