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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The number of deaths by 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 and Cyclone Mora six in 2017. This is considered internationally to be an outstanding case of disaster risk management. Face-to-face interviews with 362 residents, participant observation and focus group discussions answer a research question how change in the coastal areas has contributed to this outcome. The research 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 varied 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 of dependency on agriculture-based earning. Further, the availability of mobile phones, radio, TV and social media platforms enhanced social connectivity and greater gender equality and empowerment helped to facilitate disaster preparedness, evacuation and response. The findings reinforce the importance of understanding disaster vulnerability and response on multiple fronts in identifying ways of mitigating the effects of ongoing and compounded climatic hazards and risks affecting the region. [Abstract copyright: This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.]
Original languageEnglish
Early online date13 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Aug 2023

Cite this