Monday, November 26, 2007

Bangladesh Cyclone Sidr Update

25th November 2007 (updated from 22nd Nov 2007)

Cyclone damage in Patharghata, Barguna. Amin DRIK/Concern Nov 2007• The current death toll after Cyclone Sidr has been put at 3,060 by the Disaster Managemnt Bureau. Thousands are still missing and it is unofficially forecasted that the dead and missing will be over 10,000.

• According to government updates, 6.8 million people of over 1.6 million families have been affected in 200 upazilas. Over 3 million houses have been totally destroyed and 6 million houses partially damaged, at least 1475 tubewells damaged. Over 8000 educational institutions have completely destroyed.

• Over 2.6 million hectares of crops have been damaged or totally destroyed.

• About a hundred thousand hectares of the Sundarbans forest has been damaged. A potion of this forest that has been totally damaged will not re-grow while the areas partially damaged will re-grow.

• Road communication has improved.

Narrative


Country Level Update

Cyclone Sidr on the 15th November caused nightmare in Bangladesh. Ripping through the south western coast killing thousands of people, demolishing houses, crops, livestock left a trail of devastation over thousands of square kilometres. The winds reached 240km per hour hitting the coast at 7.30 pm on 15th November and cutting off all communications and utility services across the country.

Despite evacuation of hundreds of people, the country still suffered a high number of deaths. As of 25th November, the current death toll after Cyclone Sidr has been put at 3,060 and it is unofficially forecasted that the dead and missing will be over 10,000.

According to government updates, over 6.8 million people of over 1.6 million families have been affected in 200 upazilas. Over 3 million houses have been totally destroyed, 6 million houses partially damaged and at least at least 1475 tube-wells damaged. Over 8000 educational institutions have been destroyed. The education sector has been hard hit- academic activities of around 10,000 institutions have been badly damaged.
Dead bodies are still being collected and in many areas mass burials have had to be carried out without proper religious rites. It is reported that there is stench of rotting bodies and animal carcasses in the most hard hit areas. Road communication has improved.

About a hundred thousand hectares of the Sundarbans forest has been damaged. A portion of this forest that has been totally damaged will not re-grow while the areas partially damaged will re-grow.

Emergency Interventions

The government has so far sanctioned funds of US$7.1 million for housing in the cyclone hit areas, priority is being given to Patuakhali, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Barisal, Barguna, Jhalakati, Bhola, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Shariatpur, Khulna and Satkhira. The armed forces are working with the government to provide relief for the people, and restore the utilities and communications. Dry food is being provided, however, many areas are still hard to reach and these people are facing acute crisis of food and fresh drinking water.

The international community continues to pledge more aid for the cyclone-hit victims. World Bank alone has promised $250 million in aid. Most of the small and local NGOs are also mobilising their own resources to do as much as they can for the cyclone victims. For example Concern’s partner organisations such as Sangram and Speed Trust have aided in rescue operations, mobilised local people to take care of mass burials, distributed dry food and other food rations for some families to address immediate food crisis. These small NGOs also arranged for transport of injured persons to nearest places for medical aid.

Concern Worldwide Response

Concern Worldwide, Bangladesh has deployed Concern staff and partner organisation staff to distribute relief to the affected and extremely poor families, keeping in mind the need to avoid duplication with relief operations by other NGOs.

Concern with funding from ECHO (Euro 580,000), People in Need (€18,000) and Irish Aid (€100,000) started relief operations in Barguna and Patuakhali districts for 26,000 extreme poor families from 24th November and this phase of relief will be completed by 29th November. It has been estimated that over 250 thousand families have been affected in these two districts. Concern sets priority to assist those families who have the least coping capacity and in areas where the response by other organisations may be limited. The relief package being given includes both food and non-food material. The relief package fixed according to International Sphere Standards will provide food for 15 days for each family. The relief operation will be implemented through three partner organisations – Speed Trust (Patuakhali) , Dhaka Ahsania Mission- DAM (Barguna) and Sangram (Barguna).

Details of working locations and number of families receiving relief (24-29 Nov 2007)















Irish Aid has also pledged to give another €150,000 to the cyclone relief activities while Concern will spend €250,000 of its own general donations on cyclone related relief and rehabilitation The planning for this is ongoing and will be finalised this week, due to start on 10th Dec.

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