05/28/2024, 11.53
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Bangladesh's coastal districts devastated by cyclone Remal

by Sumon Corraya

At least 16 people were killed, thousands of homes destroyed in an area inhabited by 3.75 million people. More than 9,000 shelters have been set up by the government to give shelter to displaced people, while power lines and connections remain down in many areas. The mobilisation of local Caritas for the first emergency.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Bangladesh is reckoning with the victims and the damage left behind by Cyclone Remal - the first of the year to anticipate the monsoon season - which hit 19 coastal districts of the country for more than 14 hours, causing at least 16 deaths.

About 160,000 houses were completely or partially destroyed, 3.75 million people were affected. Houses and trees were uprooted, hundreds of villages were flooded by tidal waters and thousands of shrimp cages were washed away. Due to the heavy rains, waterlogging has occurred in several parts of the country and landslides are also feared.

Waterways in Bhola, Barisal, Noakhali, Lakshmipur and Chandpur have been disrupted, as well as road communication in several places. Many areas in at least ten districts, including Satkhira, Pirojpur, Patuakhali and Bhola, are homeless and without electricity, causing severe hardship to the people. Yesterday, the rains spread to other parts of the country, including the capital Dhaka, also causing flooding here.

Food is scarce and women, children and the elderly are most at risk. Disaster experts have called for an increase in public and private humanitarian assistance to quickly return the endangered people to normal life. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced that she will soon visit the cyclone-affected areas.

Among the victims, in Patuakhali one person was swept away by the tide and two others were killed by falling trees. In Barisal, two people died when the wall of a building collapsed and one was crushed by a tree. A tree fell on a house in Khulna, killing one person.

A pedestrian died when the wall of a building under construction collapsed in Chittagong. A 7-year-old boy died after being trapped in a tin house destroyed by strong winds in Ramganj of Lakshmipur. A worker died after being electrocuted by water accumulated on the road in Jatrabari, Dhaka.

Minister of State for Disaster Management and Relief Mohibbur Rahman said that 9,424 shelters were opened in coastal areas, with more than 800,000 people taking shelter. Thousands of livestock (cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep) were also lost.

Caritas Bangladesh also distributed 2,500 dry food parcels in the cyclone shelters together with the government. In addition, Caritas distributed cash grants, hygiene kits and first aid kits to many families as an immediate support action under the Anticipatory Action project.

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