Bangladesh’s geographic location invites destruction from storms and floods.
Much of the country is a flat alluvial plain, and most of its land is less than 50 feet (15 m) above sea level.
As a result, the country is vulnerable to the full force of cyclones (hurricanes) and tsunami (huge waves caused by earthquakes) that strike it from the Bay of Bengal.
The country also receives large amounts of rain during its monsoon season, and flooding is a constant threat.
Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in the world.
About 128 million people live in an area about the size of Wisconsin, a U.S. state that has about 5 million people.
When storms and floods come, most people have nowhere to go for safety. One of the worst disasters took place in 1970, when a cyclone killed 300,000 people.
One reason that flooding in Bangladesh may be getting worse is that people in Nepal, several hundred miles north, have been cutting down trees in large forest areas in the Himalayan foothills.
Without vegetation to catch the water, the rains that fall during monsoon season run downstream into Bangladesh’s rivers, increasing flooding there.