Excellent management of cyclone Fani by the eastern Indian state of Odisha has become a text book example of how to manage natural catastrophes although the government is now faced with the task of post-disaster reconstruction. With low insurance penetration, the question of using capital markets as a means of risk transfer merits attention.
‘How Do You Save a Million People From a Cyclone? Ask a Poor State in India’ – the headline in the New York Times of 3 May 2019 was very apt.
Indeed, Odisha, a poor eastern coastal state in India, home to about 42m as per 2011 census with an average income of less than $5 a day, was battered by an extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani on 3 May 2019, but Odisha’s management of the event has been hailed as a classic text-book example of how best to manage a natural disaster.