Amphan ravages coastal belt
Kills 16 people, damages crops, houses, uproots trees, breaches embankments
Published : Friday, 22 May, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 281
Cyclone Amphan slammed the coastal districts of the country on Wednesday evening inundating cropland and damaging standing crops, raising to the ground thousands of houses, breaching coastal embankments, uprooting thousands of trees, killing at least 16 people and injuring scores of others.
Addressing a video meeting, State Minister for Relief and Disaster Management Ministry Dr Enamur Rahman on Wednesday said the government has received a preliminary estimate of the losses of about Tk 11 billion in collective assessment of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, the Ministry of Water Resources, the Department of Local Government and the Ministry of Agriculture.
At least 16 people were killed as super cyclone Amphan battered the coastal areas of Bangladesh leaving a trail of destruction before weakening gradually.
According to primary information, Cyclone Amphan damaged 1.76 lakh hectares of crop yield across the country.
Agriculture Minister Dr Razzaque disclosed this in an online press briefing on Thursday.
The cyclone caused massive damage in Satkhira mango orchards. Out of 4,000 hectares of mango cultivation in Satkhira, 3,000 hectares have been severely damaged which is 60 to 70 per cent of total cultivation in the district, said the Minister.
Total of 7.5 km of costal embankments was broken at 84 points, according to Water Resources Ministry.
Four committees have been formed to assess the loss caused by super cyclone Amphan, said Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahabuddin on Thursday through video conferencing.
At least 60 per cent of crops were inundated, houses, big fish farms and coastal embankments were broken, according the Agricultural Ministry.
The coastal areas of the Sundarban has been severely hit by the cyclone Amphan. Thousands of houses in the coastal areas of Khulna, Bagerhat and Satkhira districts were damaged in the overnight storm on Wednesday.
Around 40,000 small and big fish farms were washed away at Satkhira areas due to the broken embankments. About 10 km of road has been destroyed.
Thousands of trees have been destroyed. Heavy rains and strong tidal waves have broken the embankments in many places and submerged croplands and fish enclosures in different areas.
The communication system has been shut down due to big uprooted trees on the road. The entire Sundarban coast has been turned into a devastated area after Amphan slammed the areas.
At least 50 embankments were broken in Satkhira when cyclone Amphan crossed the district, flooding more than 100 villages, and destroying houses and mango orchards. River embankment at nine points between Assasuni and Kholpetua rivers also broke during the cyclone.
Of the deceased, two were killed in incidents of boat and trawler capsize, five in tree collapse, one in drowning, one in wall collapse and one died from cardiac arrest.
Eleven of the deceased were identified as Syed Shah Alam, 54, of Kalapara upazila, Rashed, 5, of Galachipa upazila in Patuakhali district, Mohammad Siddique, 72, of Charfashion upazila Rafiqul Islam, 35, of Borhanuddin upazila in Bhola district, Shahjahan Molla, 55, Gulenur Begum, 70 of Mathbaria upazila and Shah Alam, 50 of Indurkani upazila in Pirojpur district, Rabeya, 13 and Khyanto Begum, 45 of Chowgachha upazila in Jashore district, Nadira Begua, 55 of Sadar upazila in Jhenaidah district and Salauddin, 16, of Sandwip of Chattogram district while the identity of another victim who was killed in Satkhira could not be known immediately.
Our Khulna correspondent reports that several hundred houses and fish enclosures in Koyra upazila were washed away by tidal surge triggered by Amphan.
Sardar Nurul Islam, Chairman of Uttar Bedkashi union, and Shamsur Rahman, chairman of Dakkhin Bedkashi union of the upazila, said vast tracks of land have been flooded following the collapse of a river embankment at 11 points under the two unions.
Several hundred trees were uprooted and huge croplands were damaged in the upazila. Power connection of the upazila remained suspended since Wednesday evening.
According to our Natore correspondent, a number of houses and establishments were damaged as storm swept over the district on Wednesday night.
The low-lying areas of the district were also inundated due to incessant rainfall while a number of trees were uprooted during the storm.
Traffic movement on the Banpara-Hatikumrul Highway and other roads of the district remained suspended, causing immense sufferings to people.
In Bhola, some 30 houses were damaged in Char Kukri Mukri union of Charfashion upazila of the district while a number of fish enclosures were washed away during the storm.
Bhola Deputy Commissioner Masud Alam Siddique said the embankment of Water Development Board at Hakim Uddin in Borhanuddin upazila collapsed.
Besides, the areas of Char Patila and Chal Char have been gone under 4 to 5 feet of water due to the tidal surge.
Meanwhile, two deaths were reported from Borhanuddin and Charfashion upazilas of the district. Local administrations have provided Tk 20,000 to the family of the each deceased.
Bangladesh had moved hundreds of thousands of people as the super cyclone approached to minimise the loss of lives. But the outbreak of highly contagious coronavirus has made evacuation and keeping people at the shelters more complex.
According to the latest Met office bulletin, maritime ports of Mongla, Payra, Chattogram, Cox's Bazar have been advised to lower local cautionary signal number to three as cyclone Amphan has weakened into a land depression.
Cyclone Amphan, over Jhenaidah district and adjoining areas, moved northwards and now lies over Rajshahi-Pabna region and adjoining areas at 6:00am on Thursday as a deep land depression, the Met office bulletin added.
It is likely to move in a north-northeasterly direction further and weaken gradually by giving precipitation. Under its influence, steep pressure gradient persists over North Bay and; adjoining coastal areas of Bangladesh and sea will remain rough.
Amphan is touted to be the most powerful cyclone in the Bay of Bengal since a devastating super-cyclone in 1999 killed more than 9,000 people in Odisha.
At least 72 people were killed in eastern India after a powerful cyclone tore through coastal areas and neighbouring Bangladesh, a state chief minister said on Thursday. The cyclone struck the state of West Bengal on Wednesday, devastating villages, tearing down power lines, and leaving large tracts of land under water.
State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the death toll stood at 72 with most caused by electrocution and falling trees. Bangladesh where the cyclone moved on to has so far reported 10 deaths, according to Indian media reports.