In the span of little over one and a half year two major cyclones have struck Bangladesh. In November 2007 it was cyclone Sidr- the meanest hurricane of all time, seen by the people of Bangladesh, which took the lives of more than 3,500* people. And now it is the infamous cyclone Aila. Aila swept away many areas, which were still recovering from the hurricane Sidr. I’m afraid it has put Bangladesh, once again, on her knees.
Aila struck Bangladesh on May 25, 2009 putting coastal people in severe danger. About half a million people had to leave their homes and go to temporary shelters when huge tidal waves came crashing with the 100 kmph (60 mph) wind. But not everyone could move to safety timely. It is estimated that, by far, about 200 people are dead*, 1,120 people are still missing and 200,000 people are trapped in water. The misery of the effected* people knows no bound. They don’t have water to drink, as most of the sources of fresh sweet water have been washed away by Aila, let alone food to eat. They don’t even have the place to burry their loved ones at this time, as most of the land is under water. They have to cross as much as 20 kilometers to find a place for burial. Even if the water goes away soon, people are confused about how they will get back on their feet, as they have lost their houses, cattle and boats.
Less Important Issue
When lives of thousands of people are at stake, maybe that’s not the time to think about the wildlife. But it hurts me a lot that the Sundanbans, the largest mangrove forest of the world, is badly affected by Aila. It has been estimated that hundreds of wild animals are killed in that cyclone.
From Disaster to Hope
We are a brave nation. We fight to live and live to fight against all odds. I’m sure that we will be able to survive this great blow from nature as we have been surviving for decades. We just need to hang in there till the primary shock goes away. Meanwhile the effected people need to have free access to fresh water, food and medicine. They need people who are kind enough to stand beside them. If you want to donate to speed up the relief work, you can do so with the help of BRAC (NGO). Click this link to donate now and answer the call of humanity.
*Save The Children: the death toll of Sidr is 5,000-10,000.
*ReliefWeb: 3.5 million people are affected by Aila.
*Reuters: 200 dead in Aila.
*The Daily Prothom Alo: 200,000 trapped, 20 km walk for burial.
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