Rivers case study: Bangladesh 1998 floods

notes on the bangladesh floods in 1998 for the rivers case study for AQA


physical causes

  • 70% of total land in less than 1 metre above sea level.
  • 10% is made of lakes and rivers
  • snowmelt from the Himalayas
  • monsoon rains
  • tropical storms bring heavy rains and coastal flooding
  • main cause was above average and long period of heavy rainfall which caused all 3 rivers to reach their peak flow at the same time.
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human causes

  • deforestation in Nepal and the Himalayas decreases interception from the trees and increases surface run off.
  • urbanisation on a flood plain
  • dams in India have increased the amount of sediment in the rivers in Bangladesh.
  • global warming has increased sea level and the amount of snow melt
  • poorly maintained levees
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Impacts- short term

  • 57% of land was flooded
  • 1300 people killed
  • 7 million homes destroyed
  • 25 million made homeless
  • half of cattle and poultry lost
  • shortage of drinking water
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Impacts- long term

  • as water levels dropped it left fields of rotting crops, wrecked roads and bridges and destroyed villages
  • 2 million tonnes of rice was destroyed
  • floods cost the country $1 billion
  • diseases like cholera and typhoid spread quickly due to poor sanitation and lack of clean water
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reponses- short term

  • boats to rescue people
  • emergancy aid such as food, water tablets, tents and medicines
  • food for livestock
  • repair and rebuild houses and services
  • aid from other countries
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responces- long term

  • reduce deforestation in Nepal and the Himalayas
  • build 7 dams in bangladesh to store excess water- cost $30-40 million and took 40 years to finish.
  • built 5000 flood shelters
  • built 350km of embankment 7 metres high costing $6billion to reduce risk of flooding along main river channels
  • developed a effective flood warning scheme
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