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Challenges for the planet Case Study
Bangladesh Flooding 1998
Monsoon climate most places receive between 1800 and
2600 mm of rain a year. 80% of the total is concentrated
between 4 or 5 months.
Deforestation in Nepal and Himalayas increases runoff.
Deposition of silt which blocks the main channel and raises
the river bed.
Human mismanagement building on flood plains.
High temperatures increase the melting of snow and
glaciers in the Himalayas.
Poorly maintained embankments (levees) may leak and
80% of Bangladesh is a huge floodplain. It is low lying, flat
land which floods easily. The water spreads over vast
Water covered almost 70% of the country and affected 2/3
of the population.
The water in Dhaka (capital) was 2 metres deep and
covered ¾ of the city.
Electricity supply was cut off for 3 weeks and there was no
safe drinking water as wells were flooded and water was
7 million homes were destroyed and over 25 million people
were made homeless.
The death toll was over 1300 - most deaths were due to
drowning but others died from cholera and other diseases.
There were shortages of food and medicines.
2 million tonnes of rice crops were destroyed.
½ million cattle and poultry were lost.
Damage was estimated at $1.5 billion.