Cyclone ‘Aila’ hits the Coastal Areas of Bangladesh


  Cyclone 'Aila' hit the country’s south-western coast on May 25, 2009 afternoon. The velocity of wind was around 100 kilometers per hour. The matter of concern was the high tidal wave, which had inundated vast low lying areas in the coastal districts. The districts of Bagerhat, Khulna, Shatkhira, Gopalgonj, Bhola, Barisal, Jessore had badly hit. The death toll from Cyclone Aila rose to 179 according to Governmental reports. Thousands of people are marooned in the costal areas battling to survive the aftermath with little food and water.  
          More than 7,000 people have been injured and at least 58,450 domestic animals killed, according to the Disaster Management Ministry. A total of 34,19,528 people have been affected comprising 7,75,915 families. The government has deployed army and navy to help local administration and non-government organizations in rescue and relief operations. Deputy Commissioners, Upazilla Nirbahi Officers (CEO of sub-district), Upazilla (sub-district) Chairmen and Vice Chairmen are carrying out relief work at 14 districts.
  People in the cyclone shelters were passing hard times for scarcity of food, drinking water and medicines. The local administration was yet to launch any relief efforts in some areas. Meanwhile, fears of an outbreak of diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases are growing.   The NGO’s along with the Governmental efforts have started emergency relief operations in the affected areas. Mainly food items are being distributed to the affected people.  
    According to government figures, 352 unions and 62 upazillas (sub-districts) in 14 districts have been affected. Crops on 3,05,689 acres of land have been damaged. A total of 5,87,803  houses have been damaged. Of the roads of the 14 districts, 258.5 km have been too battered to be used. Besides, 509 Km embankments have been wrecked and 2,155 km damaged. 
  The YMCAs of Barisal and  Gopalgonj are situated in the worst affected areas, while Kaligram YMCA is situated in the vicinity. These 3 YMCAs have already taken initiatives to support the affected people in their respective vicinities. They have embarked on a plan to reach out to at least 2,500 families of the disaster hit areas with emergency food relief for the time being. This would be a great help to the cyclone affected people as they badly need food for their survival.