Tropical Storms

Bleaching in the Maldives, 2016. Photo © The Ocean Agency/Ocean Image Bank

Tropical storms cause different levels of damage to reefs, ranging from mild damage to complete reef loss. These storms can cause high coral mortality due to abrasion, fracture, and colony detachment. Coral mortality often continues after a storm has passed because injured corals are more susceptible to disease, bleaching, and predation. High winds and flooding during tropical storms also have the potential to generate substantial amounts of debris and pollution which further damage coral reefs.

Divers training to use lift bags as part of emergency response protocols. Photo © Jennifer Adler

Addressing impacts quickly and effectively is critical for increasing the likelihood that coral reefs will be able to recover from these disturbances. In order to respond in this manner, a response plan should be developed in advance of any event.

Learn more about rapid response plans and emergency restoration for storm damage on the Rapid Response & Emergency Restoration page.

Examples of responses to tropical storms are illustrated in the following case studies:

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