Super cyclone Sidr could impact 2 million people when it hits Bangladesh

Risk Management Solutions (RMS) has been monitoring the progress of tropical cyclone Sidr in the Bay of Bengal.

The cyclone is expected tomake landfall today at 1800 GMT as the equivalent of a category 4 stormon the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Scale, generating significant storm surge.

The Bay of Bengal is particularly prone to storm surge and past cyclones have caused some of the greatest natural disaster death tolls in history. Chittagong, which is one of the largest low-lying cities in Bangladesh,could take a direct hit from surge created by Sidr.

“The Bay of Bengal is particularly prone to storm surge and past cyclones have caused some of the greatest natural disaster death tolls in history

In April 1991, a cyclone the equivalent of a strong category 4 storm made landfall close to Chittagong creating surge of up to 6 metres and causing nearly 150,000 deaths and economic losses of over $2bn dollars in today's values.

Domenico del Re, senior model manager at RMS, said: "If the surge from Sidr, which could be as high as 7 metres, affected Chittagong, our calculation shows some 2 million people will be impacted. Although better forecasting techniques and preparedness will hopefully result in fewer casualties compared to past storms, the surge will wreak considerable physical damage and destruction to the economy."