Impact of Tropical Cyclones on Rural Infrastructures in Bangladesh

M. Z. Hossain, M. T. Islam, T. Sakai, M. Ishida


Tropical cyclone has a great impact on agricultures and rural infrastructures such as shelter,
sanitation, drinking water, electricity supplies and transportation services. It causes huge damages not
only to livelihoods but also to engineering structures like rural roads, dams, embankments, farm buildings
and dairy houses etc. This paper depicts the results of recent studies on impact of tropical cyclones
on rural and agricultural engineering infrastructures in Bangladesh based on the field visits to
cyclone sites, collected data and information on damages and death of peoples. Necessary data
related to tropical cyclones are obtained from available publications and news paper information
reported in the recent years and previously. It is found that, in 2007, Bangladesh again witnessed
unprecedented tropical cyclone called as “Sidr” caused enormous disruptions, damages and
remarkable number of death of peoples. The country was yet to fully repair many of the damages
done to her infrastructure due to devastating flood occurred in the same year just three months
ago. It is revealed that the coast of the Bay of Bengal is particularly vulnerable to tropical
cyclones where at least four major cyclones occurred that killed over half millions peoples
especially after the Bhola cyclone. It is observed that the return period of earlier destructive
cyclones was thirty to fifty years, whereas recent ones are occurring by nearly eight years,
signifying the frequency of devastating cyclones. It is concluded that “Sidr” is as strong as of the
previous cyclones; however, the casualties in term of number of death of people are
conspicuously lower than that of the former ones, indicating the increase of awareness of people,
improvement of warning system of the weather broadcasting center and the countermeasures
taken by the government of the country. A discussion regarding the damages of agricultural
engineering infrastructures such as rural roads, embankments, water sanitation, shelters and food
security is presented.

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