Casualties continue to rise, as the strongest typhoon in five years barrels across the region.
May 06, 2019
/ SSD Communications with additional reporting from ADRA Bangladesh
After making landfall in the eastern state of Odisha, India, Cyclone Fani continued its path northeast of Bangladesh on Saturday, May 4, destroying thousands of households and leaving towns submerged in floodwaters in the two South Asian countries.
Cyclone Fani is said to be the strongest typhoon to hit these two countries in the last five years. After hitting land on Friday, India’s Meteorological Department said Fani lost power and was downgraded to a depression.
However, locals in Bangladesh are still being advised to take extra caution as storm surges are still a problem in low lying areas of the country. The storm has submerged villages and towns in the northeast, particularly in the Noakhali and Bhola districts where many were reportedly injured.
Local reports in Bangladesh said more than a dozen people died and 63 people were injured with more than one million people evacuated to safety. Local government units in Bangladesh emphasized an estimated 1.2 million people were moved to evacuation sites to avoid higher casualties.
According to reports, casualties could have been more fatal if evacuation was not done, especially for families living in low lying areas in the district of Noakhali where damage was the most severe.
Adventists in Bangladesh are working through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency. Days prior to cyclone’s landfall, the humanitarian organization began monitoring the situation and preparation for rapid assessment was intensified to respond immediately to Fani’s fury.
According to the National Disaster Response Coordination Center (NDRCC) of the disaster management and relief ministry of Bangladesh, Fani devastated crops on 1,830 acres of land and partially damaged crops on 119,832 acres of land in 26 districts. An estimated 13,000 houses were fully or partially damaged due to Fani’s cyclonic storm particularly in coastal districts of Bhola, Chandpur, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira, Patuakhali, and Barguna, according to NDRCC.