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Floods in Bangladesh

History, Dynamics and Rethinking the Role of the Himalayas

By Thomas Hofer and Bruno Messerli

Deforestation and land use practices of Himalayan farmers are commonly blamed for the recurring, devastating monsoon floods in the plains of the Ganges and Brahmaputra. Floods in Bangladesh presents new evidence to disprove this long-held assertion. This book demonstrates that the hydro-meteorological processes in the Himalayas are not the main causes for the floods in Bangladesh. The combination of simultaneous discharge peaks of the big rivers, high runoff from the Meghalaya Hills, heavy rainfall, high groundwater tables, and spring tides creates particularly favorable conditions for large-scale flooding. Accordingly, the myth about deforestation creating big floods and the habit of blaming mountain dwellers for the flood catastrophes must be abandoned.

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