Change in cyclone disaster vulnerability and response in coastal Bangladesh

Edris Alam*, Andrew Collins, Abu Reza Md Towfiqul Islam, Alak Paul, Md Kamrul Islam

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The number of deaths owing to tropical cyclones in Bangladesh has significantly reduced. Category 4 Cyclone Gorky in 1991 and Sidr in 2007 caused 147,000 and 4,500 deaths respectively, whereas Category 1 Cyclone Mora in 2017 resulted in six. Face-to-face interviews with 362 residents, participant observation, and focus-group discussions answer a research question about how change in coastal areas has contributed to this outcome. The study considered institutional approaches of disaster risk management through legal frameworks, administrative arrangements, cyclone preparedness activities, cyclone detection and early warning dissemination, construction of shelter centres, strengthening of various types of coastal embankments, paved roads, and pre-cyclone evacuation. The findings indicate significant improvement in house structures and design, income levels and diversification, education, awareness, individual capacity, poverty reduction, and lowering dependency on agriculture-based earning. Furthermore, the availability of mobile telephones, radio, television, and social media platforms enhanced social connectivity and greater gender equality and empowerment helped to facilitate disaster preparedness, evacuation, and response.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12608
Number of pages31
JournalDisasters
Volume48
Issue number2
Early online date9 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024

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