South Asia & Bangladesh Floods 2007 Case study

A case study of the 2007 floods in South Asia looking at causes and impacts.

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South Asia and Bangladesh Floods - 2007
11th September 2007 in Dhaka, there had been respite in the rain and onrush of water upstream
was travelling south to the central part of Bangladesh taking the death toll to 959. 10.5 million were
effected by the floods.
Causes:
South Asia has a monsoon climate ­ 80% of rain fell in just four months
Much of south Asia is low lying particularly Bangladesh with 90% of land less than 10m above
sea level
Melting snow and ice from Himalayas in late summer months increase the Brahmaptura river
discharge and monsoon rains also helps melt ice
Two major Himalayan rivers that empty into the bay of Bengal through Bangladesh (the
Brahamputra and the Ganges) had risen alarmingly
Physical factors that were the main cause:
The monsoon came after a very dry, early summer
Heavy rainfall ­ Assam had a record 169.5mm in 24 hours.
Long duration of rainfall saturated the ground increasing surface run-off and increasing
discharge
Human factors that were the main cause:
Deforestation in Nepal and the Himalayas meant less rainfall was intercepted increasing
discharge
Growth of urban areas, due to migration, also increased surface run-off
Collapse of old earth dams in Madhya Pradesh, India caused further flooding
Short term Impacts
Social Impacts:
Due to so many being affected by the floods, there was temporary shelter as people were
made homeless as their properties had been destroyed. They took shelter at government
relief centres. Around 25 million were made homeless
112,00 houses were destroyed as porous mud bricks became saturated by floodwater
People became ill with diseases such as diarrhoea, snakebites and respiratory diseases
climbed to 959 since the onslaught began on 30th July. Waterborne diseases were a big
issue with 100,000 catching it. This was due to wells being contaminated with sewage
Around 2,000 died due to being reluctant to move and evacuate and many drowned as they
couldn't swim. Poor transport meant evacuation was slow.
Economic Impacts:
The population of 140 million had a $150 million in help from donor agencies to help with the
disaster and $60 million was spent of food due to crops being destroyed.
Widespread loss of cattle. 80% of people in Bangladesh rely on agriculture and many lost
their life stock and livelihoods
10,000km of roads were destroyed. Landslides blocked roads in highlands of Nepal and
Assam
Environmental Impacts:

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Rivers had sewage in them and water supplies contaminated
Fertile soil deposited onto flood plain
Long term impacts
Social Impacts:
Schools were destroyed so until schools are repaired it will be a while until education
continues. 4,000 schools were affected with 44 completely destroyed
Economic Impacts:
Economy will suffer as farmers will have no crops and farmers didn't have time to recover
losses. Estimated $290 million worth of crops damaged in the flooding.

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