Khulna: Cyclone Amphan kills 12 (video)
by Sumon Corraya

Almost 2.5 million people have moved away from the most affected areas. About 3.3 million are without power. Homes, crops and fish enclosures have been damaged. Villages where some 3,000 Catholics live take a hit. The Church is lending a hand.


Khulna (AsiaNews) – At least 12 people have died in Bangladesh from Cyclone Amphan, which has battered the country and neighbouring India since yesterday.

Almost 2.5 million people have been evacuated from the 19 hardest hit coastal districts and moved to shelters. Around 3.3 million people are without electricity.

According to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, the cyclone made landfall in late afternoon yesterday, moving inland at a speed of up to 160 km/h.

On the coast, waves almost three metres high damaged homes, crops and river banks. More than 500 fish enclosures have been submerged.

Some of the country’s most remote areas have been cut off, with felled trees obstructing roads, preventing relief operations.

In some Catholic majority villages damage in widespread. "I am concerned,” said Bishop James Romen Boiragiof of Khulna, speaking to AsiaNews, especially about those “situated near Subdarban forest where around 3,000 Catholics live.”

“Barodal parish is partially damaged. People have taken shelter in the church-run hostel and school. I heard nobody there died.”

Several parishes cannot be reached because of power outages, but Catholic organisations are working hard to help those in need.

“For the coronavirus, we have provided support to 1,700 Catholics,” said the prelate. “Now we will also help those who have suffered from Amphan.”

Caritas Bangladesh moved 40,150 people from dangerous areas to 51 shelters where they were given dry food.

Bangladesh is vulnerable to extreme weather phenomena, which can claim the lives of hundreds of people every year.