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Mir Abdul Matin & Kabir Uddin
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Cyclone Amphan made landfall in Bangladesh and eastern India on 20 May 2020. The massive tropical cyclone resulted in the loss of at least 96 lives and caused extensive damage to infrastructure. To make matters worse, communities in the southwest coastal districts of Bangladesh are now facing floods from the subsequent heavy rains and tidal surges while having to adhere to social distancing norms during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The flooding is interrupting the return to normal life for millions of people who were relocated to community shelters (despite fears of an outbreak of COVID-19) after the cyclone struck.
At the moment, humanitarian agencies and the Government of Bangladesh are conducting impact assessments to prepare an effective response strategy. Flood inundation maps are helpful for such assessments. ICIMOD has worked on using synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite remote sensing to provide near real-time inundation maps for supporting flood response, such as during the 2019 Bangladesh floods.
ICIMOD prepared flood inundation maps for Bangladesh by analysing satellite imagery from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite and Sentinel Asia. These maps provide a synoptic overview of the extent of inundation caused by the floods. They can aid disaster management agencies in prioritizing relief and rescue activities in the worst affected areas. To distinguish between perennial waterbodies and the flooding caused by Cyclone Amphan, an image from 16 May was used as the base situation while another from 22 May was used for assessing the flooding situation (see Figures 1 and 2).
Most of the flooding happened in three districts: Satkhira, Khulna, and Bagerhat. Some flooding also happened in parts of Gopalganj and Barisal. District-wise inundation areas are shown in Figure 3 and Table 1.
Table 1. Area of sub-districts inundated by flooding caused by Cyclone Amphan (Source: ICIMOD/Sentinel-1)
*Inundated areas estimated on the basis of the 22 May Sentinel 1 images; can vary on other days (Source: ICIMOD/Sentinel-1)
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