Different Types of Storms in Bangladesh – Causes, Effects and Possible Solutions

Mainly there are two types of storms in Bangladesh. Different types of storms in Bangladesh including causes effects and possible solutions of this storm are discussed below:

Different types of storms

In Bangladesh we encounter two kinds of storms in general:

  • Nor’westers that occur inland
  • Cyclones that originate over the sea

Nor’westers are frequent in the months of May when we hear of at least one striking someplace in the country every fortnight. These are the result of a front forming when moist tropical and dry continental air masses meet.

These have wind speeds of over 140 km ph. They occur more in the central parts of the country; most are recorded in Dhaka, Faridpur, and Pabna.

Tropical cyclones develop where the northerly and southerly trade winds meet. The reason why they form over oceans is that the air masses that have traveled over the oceans have warm, moist lower layers, with cooler and drier upper layers.

Then these meet, the warm air rises and is cooled, and its moisture condenses to form heavy rain. The latent heat set free from condensation provides the every that makes the cyclone rotate, generally moving in a westerly direction. Once the cyclone reaches land, it dies down as its supply of warm moist air is shut off.

Effects of storms

In Bangladesh, most houses are built from bamboo, hay, and mud. Even moderately strong winds can cause a problem to the dwellers, so when a tropical cyclone or western strikes, their chances of withstanding the great winds are quite low.

A nor westers, or tornado, develops inland and its effects are not as widespread as a cyclone. It affects a smaller area, but is more devastating, and leaves nothing in its path of destruction.

Tropical cyclones develop over the sea. The ones that affect Bangladesh mostly form in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. They can bring utter devastation to coastal areas. Storm surges occur with waves sometimes as high as 10 m, and few things remain when such a storm is over.

Trees are uprooted and the crudely constructed houses are blown away by the winds, or washed away by the surge. The only way people can be certain of survival is by an early storm warning system. To evacuate, leave their homes and all their possessions, and move to a storm rehabilitation center is their only chance.

Different Types of Storms
Different Types of Storms

Not all make it in time, and some only survive if they are strong enough to climb and hold on to the wet braces of a tree throughout the duration of the storm. There are tremendous losses to crops and livestock, and nearly ten percent of the population of the affected areas dies in a severe tropical cyclone.

The dead are mostly children and old people. At the end of the storm, the backwash carries away the debris and the dead out to the sea.

Possible solutions

Storms are a natural phenomenon and there is not much we can do to prevent them in the short run. However, we know that their formation is related to the effect of global warming, as cyclones can develop more frequently with high sea temperatures. Thus, measures against global warming will prevent the frequency of cyclones.

There is, however, much that can be done to minimize the effects of cyclones and tornadoes.

Discussion/Reflection Task

Can you think of ways to minimize the effects of cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal surges on life and property? Discuss and jot them down.

Can you see your ideas in the suggestions below?

Here are some possible solutions:

  1. Develop a better warning system, as most of the losses in life occur due to a delayed warning. There is the technology to detect storm days before it can actually hit a particular area, but it is the dissemination of the information to the people that is delayed. The news needs to spread faster and more efficiently.
  2. The construction of houses in the area can be modified so that they are more resistant to storm surges and strong winds. Sometimes a raised platform can be useful s this helps people to stay above the level of the water when the surge passes.
  3. Other measures can be taken by the government, such as the construction of sluice gates that can hold back the water. However, the cost of such a scheme is prohibitive.
  4. It would be possible to declare the storm-affected areas uninhabitable, but a government is unlikely to do so as the resources of the land are scarce in Bangladesh.

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