International Case Study: Effects of Cyclonic pressures, consequent flooding & effects on critical infrastructure / adaptation policies in Bangladesh


The role of the International case study was to explore how EU CIRCLE’s tools could fare in such socio-institutional environments, and to extend their relevance and applicability to such contexts. This case study explored the impacts of cyclones and storm surges on the critical infrastructures of communications, water, power, transport and buildings. The location selected was Khulna City in Bangladesh, a growing urban area of 46sq km currently the focus of significant infrastructural development, with a growing population of 1.3 million.

The third industrial city of Bangladesh, Khulna is located in the interior coastal area of south West Bangladesh, halfway between the megacities of Dhaka and Kolkata, to the north of the Mongla port and Sundarbans forest. Expected to receive displacees from extreme and chronic impacts of climate change regionally, the city is vulnerable to cyclone, salinity and waterlogging with storm surge an emerging risk given a climate modified future.

For the purposes of the case study the Climate Impact Resilience Platform (CIRP) was used to quantify and visualise the cascading impacts of high precipitation and wind events on electricity distribution, road communications, water supply, health and education sectors. The impacts of three discrete events were simulated, Cyclone Nargis (2008) and Mora (2017) from the Indian Ocean, and Hurricane Matthew (2016) from the Atlantic.


Following an initial visit to Khulna in September 2017 to meet with key infrastructure operators and obtain data, the EU-CIRCLE demonstration event was arranged for April 2018 at the City Inn Hotel in Khulna in collaboration with local stakeholders.

Critical infrastructure operators attended from power generation and distribution sectors as well as the Khulna City Corporation (KCC) municipality (charged with roads and drainage) and the Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET).

Findings and implications

  • The CIRP was able to successfully ingest city infrastructure data and output visual results for high wind and high precipitation events and their cascading impacts on power distribution, road communication, water supply as well as health and education sectors.
  • The Synthetic Storm method, of sampling,, replaying and redirecting historical storms was deployed successfully. Users responded well to such events that they could reference by name and impact.

Figure 1: Impact of fallen poles on section of Khulna roads marked in read, for the case of Cyclone Nargis as visualised in CIRP

Figure 2 – Maximum flood depths from Hurricane Matthew scenario in Kalishpur area as visualised by CADDIES

Figures 3 and 4: Workshop with stakeholders