Cyclones In Bangladesh Essay

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Bangladesh is vulnerable to a variety of hydro-meteorological hazards. Approximately, 45 damaging cyclones were reported in the coastal areas of Bangladesh from 1793 to May 1997; therefore the cyclone recurrent period becomes 4.5 years (Shamsuddoha M and Chowdhury R.K, 2007). Hasan. A et al (2013) identified the decadal distributions of cyclones that hit Bangladesh. Source: (Hasan. A et al 2013)

Cyclones generally form in Indian Ocean and due to ‘Coriolis Effect’ and the funnel shape appearance of Bay of Bengal basin these hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh. Cyclones are accompanied with torrential rain and storm surges which causes loss of human lives, destruction of livestock, fisheries, forests, agriculture, inundation of land and ponds
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A storm surge is the difference between the water level under the influence of a disturbance (storm tide) and the normal level that would have been reached in the absence of the meteorological disturbance (Haque et al, 2012). Storm surge with cyclone depends on fall time tide (High tide or low tide), lunar position (full moon), storm intensity, speed of forward movement, size of the storm, angle of approach to the coast, the shape and characteristics of the coast (including landfall location, land elevations, barrier islands, rivers, bays, lagoons, and so forth) and slope of the continental shelf (NOAA, 2015). Bangladesh experienced 6-10 meter, 6.0-7.6 meter and 5-6 meter height of storm surge in 1970, 1991 and 2007 cyclone event respectively (DMB, 2010 and Paul. S. K 2014). Bangladesh has 710 km coastline and no orographic barrier rather a shallow continental shelf. Total population living in the coastal zone is 35.1 million that represent 28 percent of total population of the country (Islam, 2004). Average population density is 743 per sq. km. There are about 6.8 million households in the zone of which 52 percent are absolute poor and do not have their own land (Islam, 2004). Fishing, agriculture, shrimp farming, salt farming and tourism are the main economic activities in the coastal area. The Sundarban (mangrove forest) is a major source of subsistence for almost 5 million people (Islam and …show more content…
Alam, E., & Collins, A. E. (2010) identified four major sources of vulnerability to a tropical cyclone on the Bangladesh coast like, (1) Location and pattern of settlement, (2) Inappropriate land management system by the Government, (3) means of livelihood and a lack of infrastructure, and (4) late responses to warnings and a complex decision-making process. They also noted other sources of vulnerability like, lack of sufficient cyclone shelters, lack of adequate transportation to move to cyclone shelters, lack of alternative skills other than fishing and agriculture, rapid spread of unprotected settlements in hazardous places, vulnerability of females, children and older people (Female’s long hair and special clothing hinder swimming in a cyclonic surge), lack of decision-making power among female members of household, excessive love of/devotion to property and animals, lack of specific housing policy for settling in high cyclone risk areas, lack of social networks in at-risk places due to new scattered and isolated settlement, fishing in peak cyclonic season in the Bay of Bengal, agricultural activities in areas at risk of cyclones and lack of awareness of scientific basis of cyclone hazards. In addition, the fatalistic behavior of the coastal people is another source of vulnerability (Haque, C. E., & Blair, D.

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