October 26, 2022
DHAKA – The damage caused by Cyclone Sitrang was not as severe as was feared because the storm weakened as it neared the coast and made landfall during low tide, experts said.
However, it left at least 21 dead in different districts, mostly in the South, while seven others were feared dead as they remained missing after a dredging vessel sank in Chattogram.
“The cyclone hit the coast during the low tide with a wind speed of 75kmph, around 35kmph lower than we estimated earlier. During Cyclone Sidr, the wind speed was 223kmph,” said Bazlur Rashid, meteorologist at Bangladesh Meteorological Department.
If Sitrang made landfall during the high tide, the extent of damage would have been greater because the storm surge would be higher, he said.
Strong winds and flash floods damaged around 10,000 homes, crops on 6,000 hectares of land, and washed away fish from 1,000 enclosures across the country, State Minister Enamur Rahman of the disaster management ministry told reporters yesterday.
Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, said officials were able to restore 70 percent of the broken electricity lines by yesterday evening after the cyclone damaged 1,500-2,000 poles, leaving around 80 lakh people without power in Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal, Chandpur, Chattogram, Laxmipur, Noakhali and several other districts.
He hoped that the lines would be fully restored by noon today.
In Bhola, the storm surge reached a height of seven feet, State Minister Enamur told reporters.
Sitrang originated in the Bay of Bengal before turning north towards Bangladesh. It lost strength as it moved.
Thousands of trees were uprooted and embankments along the coastline were breached in many places, leaving low lying areas in Barishal, Bhola, Patuakhali, Noakhali and Khulna flooded.
The disaster management ministry officials said nearly 10 lakh people stayed at 6,925 cyclone shelters and left for their home
SEVEN FEARED DEAD
The body of one of the eight workers who went missing after Saikat 2, a dredging vessel, sank in the Sandwip channel in the Bay of Bengal was found last night, almost 24 hours after the boat sank amid strong winds, said Mirsharai Upazila Nirbahi Officer Minhajur Rahman.
Other workers of the dredging site found the body floating near the place where the vessel sank, he added.
In Sirajganj, a woman and her infant son drowned after a boat carrying them and three others sank around 8:00pm in the Mohonpur area, said Mosaddek Hossain, officer-in-charge of Bangabandhu Bridge West Zone Police Station.
In Munshiganj’s Louhajang upazila, a woman and her three-year-old daughter were crushed to death as a tree fell on their house in Kanaksar area.
The deceased were identified as Asma Begum Ashu, 28, and Suraiya, 3. Asma’s husband Abdur Razzak, 35, was injured.
In Brahmanbaria’s Kasba, a man named Joynal Abedin Bhuiya was killed when the branch of a tree fell on his house at Dhojnagar village.
In Gazipur’s Kapasia upazila, nine-year-old Anisur Rahman died as an earthen house collapsed amid heavy rain around 11:30pm on Monday. His elder brother Al Amin, 11, was injured.
In Bhola’s Lalmohon, Rabeya Begum, 25, drowned in flood water while a man named Mofizul Islam of the Sadar Upazila died when his earthen house collapsed on him.
In Gopalganj’s Tungipara, two women named Sharmin Begum, 25, and Romecha Begum, 58, died after trees fell on their houses.
A Myanmar citizen named Shouming, 71, died after falling from a ship at Teknaf land port in Cox’s Bazar around 9:00pm. He was the chef of the ship, said Jasim Uddin, general manager of Teknaf port.
Nine others were reported dead previously.
After an official assessment, affected fish farmers will get interest-free loans while those whose homes were damaged will get corrugated iron sheets and cash incentives, said State Minister Enamur.
There is a possibility of another cyclone in December, he added.
Dhirito Sundar Roy, a fish farmer in Khalashibunia area of Batiaghata, Khulna, told The Daily Star that he lost around six mounds of shrimps and two mounds of white fish in the flood.
“But no one came to take information from me,” he added
Biprodas Bairagi, another fish farmer in Chaksailmari area, said, “I borrowed Tk 2 lakh from an NGO and Tk 50,000 from a relative for fish farming. And I lost everything in the flood.”