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Bangledesh Floods

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Bangladesh Floods 1998 The country of Bangladesh experienced severe flooding between July and September 1998 caused by excess water in the major rivers which flow through Bangladesh. With such a high percentage of the country affected the flood had severe effects on the people and environment of Bangladesh. These floods severely affected over 30 million people and cost $3 billion, money that Bangladesh could not afford. Causes The 1998 flood was very severe with about 75% of the country submerged including large areas of the capital city Dhaka. The flooding in July and August was caused by heavy intense monsoon rainfall accompanied by snowmelt, closely followed by heavy rains over Bangladesh in September which raised the already high discharge in the three rivers even further. This can be seen in the changes to the depths of the rivers. - The depth of the Ganges in July was 13m, just below the flood level of 14m but rose to 15m in August. - The Brahmaputra exceeded its flood level of 15m in July and again in August and September - The Brahmaputra exceeded its flood level of 15m in July and again in August and September The level of the sea in the Bay of Bengal was also high (a record 5.5m above average sea level on 10th September) ...read more.


The floods brought a considerable health risk from water borne diseases as the wells were submerged making the water unsafe. As a result diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea spread widely, especially in the crowded unsanitary conditions on the higher ground. In the worst hit areas the flood removed whole villages and large areas of farmland were swept out to sea. A large percentage of the crops were lost so farmers did not have enough food to survive unless food was supplied from elsewhere. The roads were flooded and this made it very difficult to bring in this relief to the rural areas. After the flood Bangladesh was left with a deficit of 2.2 million tonnes of rice (7% of output) and this had to be replaced by imports or foreign aid. In such severe floods the deposits tended to be infertile sand rather than silt and when the water went down large areas were infertile. Urban areas. The capital city of Dhaka was badly affected with its Eastern area being flooded and 45% of houses having water at roof level in some districts. (The western areas were protected by the Western embankment.) ...read more.


This plan is funded by other countries. The Flood action Plan will lead to the construction of large embankments to protect the major cities against the most severe floods and to ensure that roads and railways are also protected. The embankments also protect agricultural areas, both fields and villages against abnormal flooding. There has been criticism about this plan as it benefits the richer people more than the poor, will narrow the flood plain so increase the height of the rivers and deprive many areas of fish and fertile silt during the annual flood. It is also very expensive. FORECASTING With measurement of rainfall, river flows and satellite images of weather patterns it is now possible to predict flooding with some accuracy and this enables people to warned so that they can move to higher ground or flood shelters Also food and medicines can be delivered much earlier by the charities and other organisations such as the United Nations. The success of the management of the 1998 flood can be seen from the relatively low number of deaths - just over 1000. More than twice this number died in 1988 in a much flood which lasted a third of the time. ...read more.

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