Bangladesh cyclone forces over half million to evacuate

16 11 2007

Read an updated post on SAJAForum.

Bangladesh drifts into yet another natural catastrophe as Cyclone Sidr killed over 200 600 people, brought down thousands of homes and forced over 650,000 people to evacuate from their houses in the southwest coast.

According to BBC, the Home Ministry in Dhaka had confirmed 52 deaths by the end of yesterday. It is speculated that the death toll could continue to increase although by early morning [local time] the storm was weakening.

Some Bangladeshi bloggers from Chittagong and Dhaka are blogging about the cyclone reactions and experiences. Read the blogs here.abc2.jpg
BBC reporter Alistair Lawson, who reported from Bhaupur, Bangladesh writes:

“Cyclones are not new to Bangladesh, but if the authorities are to be believed, they are now far less deadly.”

Read Lawson’s analysis from November 1999 on the Orissa cyclone where he also talks about the deadly cyclone that devastated southeastern Bangladesh in 1991.

Also known as Cyclone Gorky, which was one of the deadliest tropical cyclones, killed over 140,000 people and left more than ten million people homeless.

Al Jazeera reports that communications has been affected as power lines have shut down although some cell phones are working irregularly.

“Samarendra Karmakar, the meteorological department head, said the storm matched the one in 1991 that sparked a tidal wave and killed an estimated 140,000 people.”

The cyclone barely missed Bengal, according to Calcutta Times. But it still collapsed about 30 mud huts in Sagar Island.

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Global Warming is haunting the Himalayas

29 10 2007

Interestingly enough, the cover story of the Nepali Times this time is about the Himalayan glaciers that are melting fast. According to the article, “Global climate change is affecting the Himalaya much faster than previously thought, and mountaineers have been the first to notice the changes: more frequent avalanches, more crevasses and exposed rock faces where there used to be snowfields.”

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Photo in the Nepali Times shows the Imja Glacier in 1956 and again in 2006.

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