Bangladesh

Bangladesh Cyclone Early Action Protocol Summary (EAP number EAP2021BD04)

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The IFRC Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) has approved a total allocation of CHF 350,331 from its Forecast based Action (FbA) mechanism for the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS). The approved amount consists of an immediate allocation of CHF 106,791 for prepositioning, CHF 89,135 for readiness and CHF 154,404 automatically allocated to implement early actions once the defined triggers are met.

The FbA by the DREF is a Forecast-based Financing funding mechanism managed by the DREF. Allocations for the FbA by the DREF are made from a separate financial component of the DREF (MDR00004) and do not affect the reserves of the DREF appeal code MDR00001. Unearmarked contributions to the FbA by the DREF are encouraged to guarantee enough funding is available for the Early Action Protocols being developed.

SUMMARY OF THE EARLY ACTION PROTOCOL

Bangladesh has two cyclones and one flooding season, leading to recurring disasters on a yearly basis. Cyclones have a major impact on the population of Bangladesh; over the last 10 years, cyclones have affected more than a million people in the country when they make landfall in the region. According to historical data from the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) in New Delhi, from 1891 to 2015, 89 cyclones made landfall on the Bangladesh coast, of which 47 per cent were cyclonic storms (CS) and 53 per cent were severe cyclonic storms (SCS). Historically, the Bay of Bengal has witnessed many cyclones, causing enormous disruptions, damages, and a remarkable number of casualties. As one of the major hazards in Bangladesh, cyclones cause loss of life and livelihoods in the coastal area of the country, where 35 million people live. The population is vulnerable to cyclones associated with tidal surges, particularly in the pre-monsoon months of April-May and post-monsoon months of October-November.

This revised Early Action Protocol (EAP) for cyclones covers the 13 sea-facing coastal districts and Jhalokati district in Bangladesh. The EAP will be implemented by BDRCS with technical support from the German Red Cross (GRC). The pre-identified early actions can reach up to 40,000 people in the forecasted area. The pre-activation lead time for cyclones is 72 hours or more, and the activation lead time is 30 hours or more. Early actions need to be implemented in the 72 hours between a reliable forecast and the cyclone’s landfall. After activation of the EAP during Cyclone Amphan in 2020, the EAP went through a revision process and was revised based on lessons learned and evaluation recommendations. This revised EAP has been developed with consultation with key relevant departments of BDRCS, CPP, in-country participating national societies (PNS), IFRC, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center (RCCC) and key external stakeholders, such as Bangladesh Metrological Department (BMD), Department of Disaster Management (DDM), World Food Programme (WFP), and Food Security Cluster (FSC). The EAP will be triggered based on the forecast provided by BMD and IMD along with global forecast models. The BMD forecasts the cyclone (wind speed, storm surge and landfall as well as rainfall) when a depression forms in the Bay of Bengal and assesses the likelihood of it forming a cyclonic storm. The forecast is mainly based on the international Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model.

The revised EAP will address the following impacts:

• Helping households for safe evacuation.

• Reducing the impacts of the cyclone on livestock mortality and moveable asset.

• Improving the overall shelter experience of the household, with fewer problems experienced, and more services received.

The early actions are aimed at reducing the impact by providing people an incentive to evacuate to the cyclone shelters. By providing evacuation transportation for people and livestock, the evacuation ratio can be increased, thereby reducing both the loss of life as well as the loss of livelihood due to livestock mortality. The total number of cyclone shelters and beneficiaries will be covered by this EAP depending on the cyclone landfall area, access to cyclone shelters, safe space for keeping livestock, etc.

• Reducing the overall impacts of the cyclone on life, livelihoods and health conditions.