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Mahasen aftermath: Thousands under the open sky

  • Published at 04:22 pm May 18th, 2013
Mahasen aftermath: Thousands under the open sky

Food relief provided through district and upazila administration has begun to reach the hands of cyclone Mahasen affected people along the south-east coastal areas of Barisal Division.

But those whose houses were destroyed by the storm are yet to get any help and many are still living either under the open sky or at the houses of neighbours and relatives or cyclone shelters.

Nur E Alam, upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Charfashion in Bhola, said 3,022 houses were completely destroyed and 11,592 houses were partially damaged in the upazila. 102 schools and 144 mosques and other religious establishments had been damaged as well.

The UNO estimates the damage to Boro paddy at Tk35m, chili pepper at Tk177.5m, betel leaf plantations at Tk3.8m, peanuts at Tk6.9m and other vegetables at Tk5m. He also said that 24 domestic animals and 1,865 poultry birds were killed in Charfashion in the cyclone.

Monpura upazila disaster management committee said in primary assessment 503 houses in the upazila were found to be destroyed completely and 4,077 houses partially, affecting 22, 840 families. Seasonal crops worth Tk10m had been damaged, Monpura upazila UNO Abdullahel Baki said.

Nur Nabi Biswas, a day labourer in Lalmohon upazila, said he had built a house spending Tk200,000 from his savings and loans taken from NGOs four months ago.

“Mahasen destroyed the house leaving nothing. But I have to repay the loans,” he said.

Shamim Talukdar of Kalapara had planted vegetable on his land by taking loans from different sources. All of his crop has been inundated in the storm, turning him penniless. Kalapara upazila’s agricultural officer Mashiur Rahman said it would take at least 15 days for the water to recede but the situation may worsen if it rained again.

Habibur Rahman, disaster control room in charge at the Barisal divisional commissioner office, said Patuakhali has remained disconnected as large trees has fallen over roads in the storm and gangways of ferry pontoons are damaged.

Divisional administration estimates that a total of 70,409 people were affected by Mahasen, 7,540 households fully destroyed, 18,238 partially damaged, 31 schools, nine colleges and 45 madrasas affected. The total crop damage is estimated at Tk400m.

Detailed reports of damages in Barguna and Bhola district will reach the divisional office within a short time, Habibur added.

Relief and rehabilitation officials say road communication was still disrupted between the headquarters and several upazilas of Patuakhali and Bhola, which were hit the hardest. This was impeding speedy relief operation, they said.

In Kalapara, the constituency of Water Resources State Minister Mahbubur Rahman, relief began yesterday with 70 metric tonnes of rice and cash Tk70,000.