Natural Hazards

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 727–754 | Cite as

Dynamics of disaster-induced risk in southwestern coastal Bangladesh: an analysis on tropical Cyclone Aila 2009

  • Choyon Kumar Saha
Original Paper


The present article explores the dynamics of disaster-induced risk resulted from tropical Cyclone Aila that struck southwestern coastal residents on May 25, 2009, causing 190 deaths and affecting over 3.9 million with 243,000 houses and destroying 77,000 acres of farmland. This study assesses disaster risk by using basic pseudo-equation expressed as Risk = Hazard × Vulnerability, and explores the influences of various socioeconomic, environmental, institutional and geographical factors on escalating disaster risk. Following stratified purposive sampling techniques, a total of fourteen focus group discussions were conducted at three villages of Padma Pukur union in Satkhira District, from April to August in 2010. Vulnerability to disaster risk was assessed by using a short list of twenty predominant factors in terms of five dimensions, which reveals a strong relationship with sensitivity to climatic hazards. And the perception to hazard cyclone was measured by evaluating eight foremost characteristics that provide a robust insight and social view of affected residents to a physical event. The findings suggest that intensity, likelihood, speed of onset, familiarity and consequences of Cyclone Aila were regarded as significant hazard characteristics to the participants. This study explores that affected people had moderate ability to easily reduce the risks of hazard event. Findings further suggest that extreme weather, disaster-prone location, insufficient public services, high salinity, damage of biodiversity, loss of human lives and animals, shattering livelihood options, and damage of assets and infrastructures were considered as predominant factors of vulnerability. Finally, this study develops a disaster crunch model (DCM) based on the idea of Pressure and Release (PAR) model of vulnerability, which investigates root causes, dynamic pressures and unsafe conditions of vulnerability, and various elements at disaster risk.


Bangladesh Coast Cyclone Aila Disaster Hazard Risk Vulnerability 



I offer my gratitude to the participants of FGDs for sharing their experiences and insightful observations on pre- and post-cyclone periods. I also truly acknowledge to the field research team for hardworking during data collection and compilation. I thank to W. Neil. Adger, Marjolein B.A. van Asselt, Khondoker Mokaddem Hossain, Ortwin Renn, Terje Aven, F. van der Meulen, Martin Prowse, Lori Peek, Bishawjit Mallick, J. Timmons Roberts, Susmita Dasgupta, Bimal Kanti Paul who enriched this study by providing valuable articles and sage advices. I am also grateful to the editorial team of Natural Hazards particularly Thomas Glade and anonymous reviewers who provide thoughtful comments and suggestions to develop the manuscript in organized manner. I thank to Md. Amanat Ullah for his assistance to produce study map. Finally, this study is based on self-finance and merely independent effort of me.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, 2nd Floor (Dept. off.) and 3rd Floor (Personal off.), Social Science Building-IIJagannath UniversityDhakaBangladesh

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