Cyclone Komen 2015 Case Study

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Cyclone Komen 2015 Case Study

When and Where Did It Occur?
Cyclone Komen formed over the northeast of the Bay of Bengal in July 2015. It primarily affected Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar, with the latter experiencing the most severe impacts.

Strength and Formation
Cyclone Komen was characterised by sustained heavy rainfall and a storm surge of up to 2 meters. The cyclone developed during the monsoon season, a period known for cyclonic activity in southern Asia, and brought an exceptional 800 mm of rain, exacerbating the seasonal monsoon effects.

Why Did It Occur?
The cyclone formed as part of the annual monsoon cycle influenced by the warm ocean temperatures in the Bay of Bengal, a region prone to tropical cyclone formation. The combination of monsoon dynamics and the cyclone’s path resulted in unusually severe weather conditions.

Short-term Impacts The immediate effects of Cyclone Komen were catastrophic:

  • At least 100 people died due to flooding.
  • Approximately 1.2 million people were displaced from their homes.
  • Significant infrastructural damage included destroying 2,000 homes and damage to 500,000 more.
  • Agricultural devastation was extensive, with around 600,000 hectares of farmland flooded, including 270,000 hectares of cropland, predominantly rice, affecting food supply and livelihoods.
  • The estimated total damage was around US$1.5 billion.
  • Emergency responses included evacuations and the provision of purified water and shelter materials to the affected populations.

Long-term Impacts The enduring effects of Cyclone Komen highlighted the region’s vulnerabilities:

  • Many displaced individuals in Rakhine, one of Myanmar’s poorest regions, found themselves living in temporary shelters long after the cyclone.
  • Efforts to recover included cleaning contaminated water sources and repairing critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and nearly 300 health facilities.
  • The rebuilding process was aimed at restoration and enhancing resilience against future cyclones through improved early warning systems and flood defences.


  • Location

    Cyclone Komen formed in July 2015 over the northeast of the Bay of Bengal, primarily affecting Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar. Myanmar experienced the most severe impacts.

  • Strength and Weather Conditions

    Cyclone Komen brought an exceptional 800 mm of rain during the monsoon season, intensifying the usual monsoonal effects. It was characterised by heavy rainfall and a 2-meter storm surge.

  • Cause

    Cyclone Komen was driven by the annual monsoon cycle and warm ocean temperatures in the Bay of Bengal, leading to severe weather conditions and significant regional disruption.

  • Short-Term Impacts

    The cyclone resulted in at least 100 fatalities, displacement of around 1.2 million people, extensive damage to over 500,000 homes, and the flooding of 600,000 hectares of farmland, causing an estimated US$1.5 billion in damages.

  • Long-Term Impacts

    Many lived in temporary shelters long after the cyclone. Long-term recovery efforts focused on rebuilding and reinforcing infrastructure in vulnerable areas like Rakhine, including roads, bridges, and health facilities, alongside improving flood defences and early warning systems.


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