1999 Bangladesh floods

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1999 Bangladesh Floods,[1] although not as serious as the 1998 floods, were still very dangerous and costly. There are many floods in Bangladesh, mainly because the area is on average only 10 meters above sea level. These floods were between July and September. This caused a large amount of deaths and many people were left homeless. Also there was a lot of damage which had to be paid for by the use of aid from more economically developed countries (MEDC's). The entire flood lasted approximately 65 days.


The main causes[2] of the floods was the large amount of monsoon rainfall, melting snow from the Himalayas and a lot more heavy rainfall from El Nino. These all increased the amount of surface water and increased the volume of water in two main connecting rivers, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra both of which had more than the normal amount of water that they could carry and so were overflowing.

There are also a number of human causes towards the flooding of Bangladesh. These consist of large amounts of deforestation and overfarming. Deforestation means that there are no trees to suck up any rainwater for growth, so the water just continues to build up and travel downhill. Overfarming hardens the soil and so water doesn't soak into the ground for groundwater. This means that the maximum amount of surface water can travel down the hills and tributaries.


Bangladesh is overall a very poor country therefore it can't afford the optimum defence against flooding or the rescue services to help any possible survivors.

Deaths were due to drowning and diseases such as typhoid and cholera caused by water contaminated by dead bodies of animals and people, which quickly spreads the disease. The total deaths were approximately 918. 30 million people were made homeless and 100,000 square kilometres of land (mainly agricultural) was affected, which decreased Bangladesh's production rate by 20%. Many roads and bridges were destroyed, making communications, aid and transport very difficult. The total damage cost was US$880 million. This was composed of $350 million for immediate damage and aid, and then a further $530 million for later.


A number of solutions that could be made for later floods, if Bangladesh could afford them, would include levées, dams, reservoirs, and barriers, as well as dredging to increasing the total volume of the river so it can carry more water. Also they could spend some money reinforcing buildings and getting well-trained rescue teams.