Cyclones and storm surges in Bangladesh: Some mitigative measures
- 366 Downloads
Bangladesh, with its repeated cycle of floods, cyclones, and storm surges, has proved to be one of the most disaster-prone areas of the world. During the years from 1797 to 1991, Bangladesh has been hit by 60 severe cyclones (mostly accompanied by storm surges). This paper gives a brief account of these disasters with particular reference to the wind speed, surge height, loss of life, and damage to crops and properties, etc.
In order to protect the coastal areas of Bangladesh from cyclonic storm surges and floods, a major system of embankments was constructed during the 1960s and 1970s, but this is now in need of rehabilitation. The Cyclone Protection Project, which was approved by the World Bank in 1989, would rehabilitate some of the existing embankments, build new embankments, and construct roads. Locally available materials, indigenous technology, and cheap surplus manpower should be used in this project. A variety of fruit trees should be planted along the dikes and roads.
To the south-western part of Bangladesh bordering the Bay of Bengal, lies the world's largest single mangrove tract, known as the Sunderban, which covers a total area of 571 500 ha. This mangrove forest is of extreme importance since it provides efficient protection to life and property against cyclones and storm surges. But due to deforestation, the width of the mangrove belt is being rapidly diminished. The author therefore lays emphasis on coastal afforestation.
Absolute security against cyclone hazard is probably out of the question, but an effective cyclone warning response can definitely reduce loss of life and damage to property. The author discusses the current conditions for cyclone forecasting and warning in Bangladesh, and then puts forward some proposals for improving the Cyclone Preparedness Programme.
KeywordsCyclone Preparedness Programme storm surge mitigative measures forecasting and warning cyclone shelter coastal embankment afforestation rehabilitation
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Ahmad, N.: 1968, An Economic Geography of East Pakistan, Oxford University Press, London, pp. 44–54.Google Scholar
- Bagchi, A.: 1944, The Ganges Delta, Calcutta, p. 90.Google Scholar
- Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics: 1989, Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh, Ministry of Planning, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka, pp. 3–29.Google Scholar
- Das, D. K.: 1987, Edible Fruits of Bangladesh Forests, Bulletin 3, Plant Taxonomy Series, Forest Research Institute, Chittagong, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.Google Scholar
- Das, P. K.: 1972, Prediction model for storm surges in the Bay of Bengal, Nature 239, 211–213.Google Scholar
- Das, P. K., Sinha, M. C., and Balasubramanyam, V.: 1974, Storm surges in the Bay of Bengal, Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc. 100, 437–449.Google Scholar
- Duivendijk, H. V.: 1987, Bangladesh stops the sea, National Geographic 172(1), 92–101.Google Scholar
- Flierl, G. R. and Robinson, A. R.: 1972, Deadly surges in the Bay of Bengal: Dynamics and storm-tide tables, Nature 239, 213–215.Google Scholar
- French Engineering Consortium and Bangladesh Water Development Board: 1989, Prefeasibility Study for Flood Control in Bangladesh 4, pp. iv, 5–5.Google Scholar
- Johns, B.: 1979, Numerical simulation of storm surges in the Bay of Bengal, Proc. Conf. Monsoon Dynamics, New Delhi, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Johnson, B. L. C.: 1982, Bangladesh, Heinemann Educational, London, pp. 18–36.Google Scholar
- Khalil, G. M.: 1990, Floods in Bangladesh: A question of disciplining the rivers, Natural Hazards 3(4), 379–401.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Planning, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and United Nations Development Programme: 1987, Report of the Mission on 1987 Flood Occurrence Analysis and Recommended Action 2, 49–50.Google Scholar
- Murty, T. S.: 1984, Storm surges — Meteorological ocean tides, Canad. Bull. Fisheries Aquatic Sci. 212, 897.Google Scholar
- Murty, T. S., Flather, R.A., and Henry, R. F.: 1986, The storm surge problem in the Bay of Bengal, Proc. Oceanogr. 16(4), 195–233.Google Scholar
- Rashid, H. E.: 1977, Geography of Bangladesh, University Press, Bangladesh, pp. 107–110.Google Scholar
- Sommer, A. and Mosley, W. H.: 1973, The cyclone: Medical assessment and determination of relief and rehabilitation requirements, Disaster in Bangladesh, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
- The World Bank: 1989, Bangladesh Action Plan for Flood Control, p. 73.Google Scholar