Dhaka / Historical Document – Dhaka as a cyclone and flood prone city

Bhola Cyclone 13 November 1970

The central and secure position of Dhaka, with its proximity to river, its tight connection among people and its political homogeneity, had allowed it to be selected as a capital. However, with its unique geographical location on the lower part of the basins of three powerful, Dhaka is also the breeding ground for tropical cyclones and floods.

Bhola Cyclone in 1970 was the most serious tropical cyclone in Bangladesh so far, and it is still the deadliest tropical cyclone in world history so far. More than half the city of Dhaka was flooded and waterlogged, with millions of people marooned and numerous people killed.

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The reason why Bangladesh is so strongly linked and affected by cyclone is that its economy depends predominantly on agriculture. Also, due to sever poverty and over population of the country, many people are landless and are forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land.

The lack of control in water is also a critical problem. At different times and in an unpredictable manner it has too much or too little water. The intricate network of alluvial rivers carries a huge annual discharge and sediment load, causing channel shifting and bank erosion.

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