Flood risk assessment due to cyclone-induced dike breaching in coastal areas of Bangladesh

Islam, Md Feroz; Bhattacharya, Biswa; Popescu, Ioana

Bangladesh, one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, has a dynamic delta with 123 polders protected by earthen dikes. Cyclone-induced storm surges cause severe damage to these polders by overtopping and breaching the dikes. A total of 19 major tropical storms have hit the coast in the last 50 years, and the storm frequency is likely to increase due to climate change. The present paper presents an investigation of the inundation pattern in a protected area behind dikes due to floods caused by storm surges and identifies possible critical locations of dike breaches. Polder 48 in the coastal region, also known as Kuakata, was selected as the study area. A HEC-RAS 1-D–2-D hydrodynamic model was developed to simulate inundation of the polder under different scenarios. Scenarios were developed by considering tidal variations, the angle of the cyclone at landfall, possible dike breach locations and sea level rise due to climate change according to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A storm surge for a cyclone event with a 1-in-25-year return period was considered for all the scenarios. The primary objective of this research was to present a methodology for identifying the critical location of dike breaching, generating a flood risk map (FRM) and a probabilistic flood map (PFM) for the breaching of dikes during a cyclone. The critical location of the dike breach among the chosen possible locations was identified by comparing the inundation extent and damage due to flooding corresponding to the developed scenarios. A FRM corresponding to the breaching in the critical location was developed, which indicated that settlements adjacent to the canals in the polders were exposed to higher risk. A PFM was developed using the simulation results corresponding to the developed scenarios, which was used to recommend the need of appropriate land use zoning to minimize the vulnerability to flooding. The developed hydrodynamic model can be used to forecast inundation, to identify critical locations of the dike requiring maintenance and to study the effect of climate change on flood inundation in the study area.

The frequency and intensity of the cyclones around the world are likely to increase due to climate change, which will require resource-intensive improvement of existing or new protection structures for the deltas. The identification and prioritization of the maintenance of critical locations of dike breaching can potentially prevent a disaster. The use of non-structural tools such as land use zoning with the help of flood risk maps and probabilistic flood maps has the potential to reduce risk and damage. The method presented in this research can potentially be utilized for deltas around the world to reduce vulnerability and flood risk due to dike breaching caused by cyclone-induced storm surge.

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Islam, Md Feroz / Bhattacharya, Biswa / Popescu, Ioana: Flood risk assessment due to cyclone-induced dike breaching in coastal areas of Bangladesh. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Md Feroz Islam et al.

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