Disasters & Accidents

Bangladesh bounces back after Cyclone Mocha hits normal life

Dhaka, May 15 (EFE).- Flight operations at airports and trading at sea ports resumed Monday as Bangladesh began counting damages after Cyclone Mocha left a trail of destruction on the southern coast.

The cyclone battered the southern region and neighboring Myanmar after making landfall midday on Sunday.

Nur Mohammad, a villager on St. Martin’s Island, described his experience of the severity of the storm that flattened many houses and trees.

“We could feel some wind since morning. It increased gradually. I sent my three kids and wife to a shelter and came back alone to look after my house,” Mohammad told EFE over the phone.

“Around 2 pm, the tin roof of my house was blown away. I somehow survived and ran for shelter. The wind and rain flattened many houses and trees on our island. We haven’t seen anything like this in our life. About 900 families on the island are now without shelter,” he said.

Mohammad said the cyclone battered the island for nearly five hours until late afternoon on Sunday.

The maximum sustained wind speed of the cyclone was 147 kmph when it lashed the island, leveling hundreds of shanties and uprooting trees.

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department, in its latest weather bulletin, said the cyclone completed crossing the coast at 6 pm on Sunday and weakened into a land depression near Sittwe in Myanmar.

“According to the primary report, the cyclone has partially or fully damaged over 10,600 houses, including over a thousand on St. Martin’s Island,” said Mizanur Rahman, the director general of the Bangladesh Disaster Management Department.

“We have continued our assessment. Hopefully, we will get a complete picture of damages.”

The cyclone also affected 2,826 shelters in Rohingya camps, destroying 278 and partially damaging 2,548, as per a report by the Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner.

The Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, also named Mizanur Rahman, told EFE that 32 learning centers, one healthcare center, and 29 mosques were affected while the cyclone triggered landslides in 120 places inside the camps.

He said 5,386 Rohingyas had been relocated to safety, while seven suffered minor injuries due to the effects of the cyclone.

“We are hoping to rebuild the shelters within a day or two,” he said.

Bangladesh is prone to cyclones due to its geographical location, with the storms mainly occurring in April-May and October-November.

In May 2020, super cyclone Amphan left over 100 people dead in India and Bangladesh in one of the worst calamities in recent years. EFE


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