The people living at Putibila Dasimajhipara Jele Palli (fishing village) on Maheshkhali Island in Cox’s Bazar are gripped by the shock of losing their near and dear ones in Cyclone Mora.
The cyclone that killed at least nine people in four districts, including Cox’s Bazar, and affecting thousands others also pushed up the miseries of the people living on the island, which is one of the remotest of its kind in the country.
Losing their breadwinner family members, many are feeling a greater insecurity about the livelihood on the future.
“Oh dear! Where have you gone? How do we survive without you? Who will now take care of us?” this is what a wailing Ali Ahmed and his wife Jannat Aara of the island were telling this correspondent recently.
Having lost both their bread earner sons in the cyclonic storm, the elderly couple are also greatly uncertain about their future as they are not sure about how they would make a living now.
“How would we manage our everyday expenditures?” questioned Ahmed with tears in his eyes.
Their sons Shahidullah and Aman Ullah, aged between 28 and 30, who were fishermen, have been missing in the severe cyclonic storm that made a landfall in Bangladesh on May 29, ravaging the country’s coastal areas.
“They went to catch fishes in the rough sea on a weeklong voyage during the storm on May 28. But, they have been unaccounted for despite the cyclone making a landfall,” said Ahmad, who is in his mid 50s.
According to him, the boat carrying his sons and others had capsized in the Bay after being caught in the storm.
Sources said around 50 fishermen of the locality, who went to the sea during the storm, are still missing.
Almost every single family living there has lost someone in the natural calamity.
Meanwhile, many alleged that they were yet to receive relief supplies or any other assistance. Most people at the village are passing their days half-fed with uncertainty among their about the coming days looming.
When contacted, Maheshkhali Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Abul Kalam said they have prepared a list of the affected people in the area, which has already been sent to the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry.
In Maheshkhali upazila alone, 82 fishermen went missing in the cyclone.
However, 33 of them were rescued alive from the sea with one being found dead. The rest are still traceless.
“A list of the 48 missing fishermen is being drafted to help find them,” he said.
Countless fishermen in the coastal district’s different upazilas including Kutubdia and Pekua have also been missing since the cyclone. Interestingly, the district administration does not have any accurate figure of the victims as yet.