Myanmar cyclone

Copy the link and open WeChat to share

Open Wechat

Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar's Ayeyarwady Delta and Yangon Division on 2-3 May 2008; and 140,000 people were either killed or went missing. Some 2.4 million people in the Ayeyrwady Delta and Yangon were affected. The cyclone destroyed homes, schools, farmlands, fishponds, and livestock. Cyclone Nargis was the worst natural disaster in Myanmar and the 8th deadliest in the world with losses and damages reaching $4.1 billion.

Oxfam has assisted 500,000 people by:

  • Ensuring access to safe water for 64,620 households
  • Rebuilding community ponds
  • Giving materials to over 53,000 households to rebuild their homes
  • Supporting the rebuilding of schools, childhood care and development centers benefiting almost 19,000 students
  • Working with partners to build communal latrines and hand washing facilities
  • Providing fuel and farming and fishing equipment to 11,500 households for livelihood recovery
  • Providing emergency food or establishing cash grants and cash-for-work opportunities for over 26,400 households to help them recover and diversify small business opportunities
  • Conducting training to strengthen the ability of local organisations to manage finances, build confidence, and increase participation, particularly of women
  • Lifeline jetty construction in Chaungwa village on Pyinkhayine Island, for benefiting almost 18,000 people on the island


Oxfam Hong Kong contributed over HKD 7 million towards this emergency response.

(Updated on 2 May 2010)


Trees and rubble block the roads. According to some estimates, 500,000 people have lost their homes. Photo: Oxfam Novib
This monastery has been wiped out by the storm. Other monasteries which have endured the cyclone serve as relief camps for survivors. Photo: Oxfam Novib
Aid is arriving, though slowly at times, and survivors queue up for food supplies. Photo: Oxfam Novib
Partner organisations of Oxfam distribute rice, beans, noodles, oil, potatoes, onions and salt. Photo: Oxfam Novib
Saltwater washed over rice paddies in the cyclone, so rice is now scarce. Due to excessive rain and wind, people have not been able to sow seeds. Photo: Oxfam Novib
Many children lost their parents in the cyclone. Volunteers take care of them with the support of Oxfam. Photo: Oxfam Novib
Where possible, survivors reconstruct or help reconstruct their own homes. Photo: Oxfam Novib
Relief Route / One of the local organisations in Myanmar that Oxfam Hong Kong supports visited villages and towns (marked in green) on a recent trip (their route in blue). The agency was busy carrying out 95 post-tsunami projects when the cyclone hit. Five of their own staff members died in the cyclone.
On the 11-hour boat ride to Pyin-Kha-Yaing / The trip started at 4am. The boat was so crowded, it was hard not stepping on anyone’s head. When the cyclone hit, this mother (right) had her 9-month child in her arms, but the waves separated them. When the mother came to, she heard sobbing: her child was clinging to a banyan tree. She lost her older child, age 4.
On the 11-hour boat ride to Pyin-Kha-Yaing / The relief team met a farmer (centre) on the boat. He had attended their 3-month training after the tsunami and has been training other farmers. He is now helping with cyclone relief. He offered the team 2 lemons, the first fruit from his tree. He told the team that smelling a lemon can prevent seasickness.
Chaung-Wa Jetty / At this damaged jetty in Pyin-Kha-Yaing, the team was told some very sad news: the brand new school that had been built here after the tsunami had been washed away. The teachers were inconsolable: for the very first time they had had the pleasure of teaching in a school with good facilities, but now, after just one year, it had all disappeared. That night, the team stayed in a monastery before visiting 12 villages the next day.
Two facilitator-survivors had attended 3-month training by Oxfam’s partner organisation on how to facilitate community projects. The woman on the left was due to conduct a training herself on 2 and 3 May here in Thet-Kae-Thuang. Her co-facilitator died in the cyclone.
Post-tsunami bridge / This bridge in Ah-Hsin-Chaing helped save many people: people could cross the raging stream below. Another post-tsunami concrete bridge in the area also survived.
Rice for all / A local NGO distributes rice for people in the village of Dee-Du-Gone. Rice is in short supply, and the abbott of the village declined his share.
Orange roofs / This orange tarpaulin from Oxfam’s partner organisation provides a temporary roof for people in Zee-Thuang. Building materials are in great demand, and some Myanmar companies have been offering to donate materials, especially for school reconstruction.
Volunteer / This teacher volunteers at a relief distribution point of Oxfam’s partner organisation in Zee-Thuang.
Latrines, standing / A family escaped the cyclone by sheltering in these latrines.
People and school, standing / An area coordinator of Oxfam's partner organisation (left) and now the chairperson of relief work for 13 villages in the area, stands with his family near the primary school, now roofless, which was built after the tsunami. More than 10,000 people ran to the hill (behind them) as the cyclone hit – the hill is 7 miles long and 30-50 feet high. The hills are ancient and made of limestone.