Roanu leaves behind a trail of damage

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Anisur Rahman Khan with Shamsuddin Illius

A man collects items from his house on Sunday that collapsed in the adjacent pond in Tojumuddin of Bhola during cyclone Roanu a day before. Independent Photo
Publication Date: 24 May, 2016
Media: The Independent
E-paper Link: Roanu leaves behind a trail of damage
The cyclonic storm ‘Roanu’ that passed over Bangladesh on Saturday has left behind a trail of destruction by flattening homes, uprooting trees and electric poles, and damaging over 23 km of flood control embankments along the coasts. According to the Disaster Management and Relief Directorate, 23 people were killed and scores injured in the country. The deaths were reported from Kutubdia in Cox’s Bazar, Sitakunda in Chittagong, Bhola, Noakhali, Patuakhli and Luxmipur. A total of 23,000 houses were completely destroyed and 59,000 partially damaged. According to the district administration, as many as 12 people were killed and 483,086 people were affected in Chittagong alone by the havoc wrought by Roanu. The figures pertained to 14 wards in Chittagong city and 104 union parishads in 10 upazilas of the district.
The figures were released by the deputy commissioner (DC) of Chittagong district, Mesbah Uddin Ahmed, at a meeting on Sunday evening to review damage and rehabilitation activities following the cyclone. The minister for disaster management and relief, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury (Maya), and the public works and housing minister, Mosharraf Hossain, were present at the meeting held at the Seminar Hall in Chittagong city.
The DC said that out of the total number of affected people, 81,411 were affected completely and 401,674 were affected partially. Out of a total of 130,097 cyclone-hit families, 19,437 families were affected completely and 83,660 families were affected partially, the DC said.
He added that 20,892 houses were damaged completely, while 25,766 houses were damaged partially. A total of 154 acres of cropland were damaged completely, while 2,541 acres were damaged partially. As many as 80 cattle and 40,550 livestock were killed.
The DC further said that a total of 34 educational institutions and 12 religious places were partially damaged in the cyclone, which also completely damaged 47 km of roads and partially affected 144 km of roads. Also, 27 km of embankment was completely destroyed and 66 km of embankment was partially damaged.
The storm also damaged the embankments to protect coastal areas, leading to losses worth about Tk. 1,000 crore, according to sources in the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB). “We’ll assess the quantum of damage after holding a meeting on the basis of ground data from the coastal districts. It’s difficult to say the exact amount of damage, which has been roughly estimated to be Tk. 1,000 crore,” BWDB director general Jahangir Kabir told The Independent yesterday.
The extent of damage was most severe in the coastal districts, including Chittagong, said Disaster Management and Relief Directorate director general Riazuddin Ahmed. “We’re yet to receive details of the damage caused by the flooding and heavy winds battering the eight coastal districts.
It’d take three to four more days to receive a full report on the extent of damage due to the cyclonic storm,” he added. Disaster management and relief minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said those who were rendered homeless by Roanu would continue to stay at cyclone shelters till their houses were rebuilt. “The government will provide food, medicine, water and other support to around 23,000 families staying at those shelters now,” the minister told reporters during a visit to the storm-affected Banshkhali and Anwara upazilas of Chiittagong district yesterday. Rehabilitating the homeless and cyclone-affected people has become the priority of the government, he added. Maya further said Tk. 1.2 crore of relief funds and 6,500 tonnes of rice were allocated for the victims of Roanu. On his part, the disaster management and relief minister blamed “flimsy dams” in the coastal areas for these huge losses of life and property.
Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

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