Vulnerability of the Bangladesh coastline to inundation under cyclone activity: past records and DRR strategies

Paolo Ciavola, Muslem Uddin, Enrico Duo, Boram Lee, S.H.M. Fakhruddin

Chair(s): dr. Vojinovic

Tuesday 30 june 2015

14:05 - 14:20h at Central America (level 0)

Themes: (T) Special session, (ST) Coasts at threat in Europe

Parallel session: 6H. Special session: Coasts at threat in Europe

Bangladesh is the 5th most disaster-affected country in the world (UNU-EHS, World Risk Report 2012). Coastal flooding caused by tropical cyclones and associate storm surges/or high river flows are the most dangerous natural hazards. Despite these risks, coastal settlement combined with high density of population and vulnerable coastal protection, cause about 80% of the global casualties. Thus, Bangladesh was chosen as a demonstration site for the RISC-KIT FP7 EU project. This project is implemented in twinning partnership with the Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project for Bangladesh (CIFDP-B) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), developing coastal inundation forecasting and warning system for the entire Bangladeshi coast, to be operated by the Government of Bangladesh. In order to understand changes in the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies for coastal flooding, as well as to assess its efficiency at all scales from national to local, an extensive review of historical events was conducted. A selection of 37 events (1960-2013) was archived into a repository that includes the detailed event characteristics as well as the impact. A focused review of the DRR strategies was also conducted through a consultative process with the national authorities as well as with the end users and local residents in the case study area. During the lifetime of the Project, an end-to-end EWS will be built in the case study site (Sandwip Island) and linked with the operational Coastal Inundation Forecasting (CIF) model that runs for the whole Bangladeshi coast at coarse resolution. A Delft3D tidal model of the Bay of Bengal was built, in view of future studies for tidal prediction of higher resolution and quality. For verification and analysis, a tide gauge was installed at the coast of Sandwip, and the data compared with the Chittagong GLOSS tidal station. Additionally, changes on the shape of the island, as well as changes in land-use were studied using multi temporal Landsat imagery.