Cyclone Remal: Voices from the field

by Friendship News Desk
June 1, 2024

Cyclone Remal wreaked havoc across Bangladesh and parts of India for 40 hours, hitting the coast between Patuakhali and Kolkata on May 26th with winds reaching 111 km/h. The cyclone affected 3.8 million people across 19 districts, destroying over 35,000 homes and causing extensive flooding. In Bangladesh alone, 14 lives were lost, 30 million people experienced power outages, and thousands were evacuated to safety. The devastation included tidal surges, breached embankments, and severe damage to infrastructure and agriculture.

Despite the widespread damage, preemptive measures by the Government of Bangladesh and NGOs like Friendship significantly minimized the cyclone’s impact. Friendship’s efforts included early warnings, evacuations, cyclone shelters, and emergency support. They provided food, clean water, and medical care to affected communities, with their cyclone shelters accommodating over 3,000 people. Additionally, they repaired homes, distributed hygiene kits, and managed cattle sheds to protect livestock.

The Sundarbans, a critical natural barrier, absorbed much of the cyclone’s force, protecting inland areas but at a significant ecological cost. Friendship continues to assess the damage and plan for rehabilitation, demonstrating the effectiveness of integrated disaster risk reduction and community resilience strategies.

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