Cyclone Sidr Hits Bangladesh
A terrible cyclone hit the southern coast of Bangladesh on November 15, 2007. Strong winds at a speed of 240 km/h (150 mph) created 6-metre-high (20-foot) tidal waves that crashed into the coastline. Boats were through tens of metres inland and houses were ripped apart under the ferocious winds. Those who survived have had a…
A terrible cyclone hit the southern coast of Bangladesh on November 15, 2007. Strong winds at a speed of 240 km/h (150 mph) created 6-metre-high (20-foot) tidal waves that crashed into the coastline. Boats were through tens of metres inland and houses were ripped apart under the ferocious winds. Those who survived have had a livelihood crisis with 95 per cent of the country’s rice harvest destroyed.
Aid services put the death toll at nearly 3,500, while the Bengal Red Crescent expects it to rise to between 5,000 and 10,000 by the time the disaster is over.
Now, entire cities have been flooded and even the capital, Dhaka, has been badly hit. Electricity and water services have been cut and the flooding continues. Water-borne diseases, such as diarrhoea, have already started appearing among the millions dislocated and homeless.
The November 15 storm left at least 3,500 people dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. Up to 458804 houses were completely damaged while 665529 others have suffered partial damage.More than a week after the devastating storm, countless victims remained without enough supplies of food, water and medicine. Nearly five million people have been affected by the cyclone, half of whom need immediate livelihood and life-saving relief.
As loan-based microcredit projects are the main source of livelihood in Bangladesh, thousands of Bangladeshis are facing financial ruin after the devastating cyclone Sidr has left them destitute and worried about their outstanding debts.
Grameen bank, which last year jointly won the Nobel peace prize with founder Muhammad Yunus, currently has more than six million borrowers in Bangladesh, of whom 97 per cent are women in a country which is among the poorest in the world with 40 per cent of its 144 million population scraping by on less than a dollar a day.
Academic activities of around 10,000 institutions in 30 districts have been seriously disrupted because of the devastating cyclone Sidr, which badly damaged schools, colleges and madrasas and education materials in these areas.
According to the disaster control centre, 1,335 educational institutes in 30 districts, especially Bagerhat, Barguna, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Bhola, Jhalakathi and Barisal, were completely damaged by Sidr that hit the southern coastal districts on November 15.
Only a few brick-built institutions survived the cyclone’s impact while 7,893 were damaged partially.
Aid agencies are struggling to reach those worst hit by the cyclone with food, drinking water, and medicine.