The coastal region of Bangladesh is protected from tidal actions by 139 polders. During cyclone Aila in 2009, several polders failed, causing immense sufferings to the coastal inhabitants. This article presents the results of investigations of the nature of damages and their variations in different sectors in a selected coastal polder of the south-western Bangladesh during Aila. The study was carried out involving the application of various Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools including Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and Individual Interviews to obtain information such as damages caused by Aila, cropping pattern, and planting and harvesting time of the crops. The study explored the spatial and sectoral variation in cyclonic damage. The impact of inundation depth and duration on aman rice production was assessed in the study area. In sectoral damages, agriculture was the worst affected. Household and livestock sectors experienced the worst immediate impacts while agriculture faced the most severe long term impacts. The study also reveals that the coincidence of the timing of the cyclonic event with the cropping season will cost the largest amount of loss and damage. The findings of the study will help the policy makers to decide on the appropriate adaptation measures to minimize the impacts of any severe cyclonic disaster in future.
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