Cyclone Mocha: 5 Dead, 700 Injured in Myanmar

Image copyright: AP [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • At least five people have died in Myanmar after Cyclone Mocha ripped through the Myanmar-Bangladesh coasts on Sunday, destroying hundreds of makeshift Rohingya shelters at the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar.

  • The cyclone, which made landfall in Myanmar's Sittwe — capital of Rakhine state — brought wind speeds of over 200kph (125mph), blowing roofs off buildings, uprooting trees, crumpling mobile towers, and cutting off powerlines.

The Spin

Narrative A

Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal are becoming more intense, potent, and destructive because of climate change, which is warming the oceans at an alarming speed and allowing cyclones to retain their energy for longer. Bangladesh and Myanmar are particularly threatened because they're low-lying and are home to some of the world's poorest populations.

Narrative B

There's no real evidence that cyclones are arriving more often due to climate change. While some types of extreme weather can be directly attributed to global warming, more research is needed to conclude that climate change directly affects cyclones' frequency and power. As cyclones are unavoidable natural disasters, policies to boost disaster preparation are crucial to limiting damage once calamity strikes.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that there be at least 2.37˚C of global warming by 2100, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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