What is a disaster?
A disaster is an incident which disrupts the people and their normal existence and cause a lot of sufferings of a community or a society and also cause a lot of material, economic and environmental losses that exceeds the coping ability of the people using their own resources. Any natural calamity will not be considered as a disaster until it has a serious impact on vulnerable people and people fail to reduce the risk and cope up with the loss after happening the incident.
Bangladesh has an area of about 1,47,570 sq. km and is considered as a disaster prone country and the population is about more than 150 million with having special geographical story for which people suffer for abnormal disasters. Mostly the people are very poor and considered as mainly an agricultural country and the economy largely depends on the weather. It has the Himalayan range to the north, the Bay of Bengal to the south. Mostly people suffer a lot every year for the natural calamity. Flood, cyclone, storm surge, flash flood, tornedo, drought, river bank erosion, and earthquake are the force of the nature and called as natural disaster in Bangladesh. Also the disaster can be man-made.
In Bangladesh cyclone occurs very frequently. Tropical cyclones uproot the trees, destroy the communication system, bridges, kills people and animals, destroy the houses, the living environment , destroy the economic growth of the area, and keep an adverse effect for long time for which people suffer a lot to come back in a normal life and growth.
Cyclone “SIDR” was one of the strongest cyclones that hit the south-west coast of Bangladesh in 2007 with240 kilometers per hour winds .In the early November in 2017 the cyclone “SIDR” was developed in the Bay of Bengal and in the evening of November 15 made landfall in Bangladesh with the tidal waves which was up to five meters high and in some areas it flows up to 6 meters, penetrated the coastal and the river banks and it caused floodingin low-lying areas. The main cause of Cyclone Sidr was the location of Bangladesh. Because it is so near to the equator. The sun was extremely strong which was causing masses of sea water from the bay of Bengal to evaporate. Then the water started to create the water cycle, but when the cycle gets higher up then some of the water starts to slope again create high pressure on the surface of the sea in a ring and low pressure inside the ring. This causes the wind to take a spiral shape.
Thousands of people died and the coastal communities had faced a massive destruction. High winds and floods also caused damage to housing, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Electricity and communication were blown away almost. The road and water ways became impossible and the water was in a bad condition to drink even. Moreover in some areas the water contained the saline and the sanitation system was totally being destroyed. At least 3,447 people were dead and the deaths were confirmed for the strong winds and more than 3,000 fishermen were reported as missing with 500 fishing boats. The damage in Bangladesh was huge. The dangerous thing was massive tree damage. And it was the worst compared with 1991 cyclone.
Through the local officials it was described that the damage was about a quarter of the world heritage site Sunder bans. And the Researchers found that the forest sunder bans will take at least 40 years to recover from the damage. The capital city Dhaka was also affected severely for the cut of the electricity and water service and the damage was happened for the strong wind and flood. The local agricultural industry was also affected badly as they failed to take their December crops.
For the disaster over 450,000 houses were destroyed across the 30 districts through wind and flood and more than 50 percent of households were either damaged or destroyed. Over 55,000 people sustaining with physical injuries. After four weeks of the disaster most of the people found some temporary shelter which was not even good to protect people from rain and cold. The living standard becomes very poor. Some people took shelter in relatives’ houses as refuge. Some people managed to build or reconstruct their house but the living standard became poor comparing to the previous time. More than 160 local and international organizations were involved to arrange the shelter for the affected people. There organizations provided training for the safer shelter construction and provided basic shelter items. Both government and international organizations made a recovery plan. The Joint Damage, Loss, and Needs Assessment (JDNLA) estimated the total damage and losses caused by the cyclone to be Bangladesh Taka (BDT) 115.6 billion (US$ 1.7 billion).The government tried to minimize the loss of the cyclone Sidr, they improved their disaster prevention actions, developed the predicting and warning system, developed the process of planting system, provided training program to create the awareness of the hazards and to develop the construction quality ,, food, blanket , medicine for the cyclone affected people. As a result the loss of human life was less than the cyclone which was happened in 1991 and the suffering becomes less comparatively.
As the forest was affected very badly and the damages of tree of that area was dangerous so, the main objective should be the tree plantation. The tree should be much stronger like mahogany tree, and it can also be some fruits tree or the type of tree which will be able to protect the people from the adverse effect of another cyclone. Communication can be another kind of dangerous issue. Because there are some areas that people even do not understand the language properly. So it can be minimized using the modern technology. Creating awareness about climate change issue is also another kind of challenge. In that case the private NGO can play a vital role to reduce the risk. Because the literacy rate in these areas not that much high.