Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Devastating cyclonic storm Aila hit South Bengal, Report from CINI

Child in Need Institute (CINI)

Devastating cyclonic storm Aila hit South Bengal

Due to depression in the Bay of Bengal, a strong cyclone blew from south east. It created a massive surge of tidal waves rushing from the sea. In some places the waves breached the mud embankments and over other stretches destroyed the embankment of ‘Maipith Island’ in Kultali Block of South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal bordering Bangladesh. The island is situated in remote Sunderbans region one of the world's largest wetlands area, part of which has been reserved for tigers and crocodiles. It is inhabitated by 65,000 people. The saline water washed away the mud walls and foundation of cottages of the poor. The agriculture land mostly growing rice, vegetables and betel leaves are under 3 to 5 feet saline water. This will result in poor or no production of monsoon paddy crop and cash crop of vegetables and betel leaf. Almost all ponds in the villages are flooded with salt water, which will lead to the fish being cultivated as being lost, and no possibility of reviving sweet water fish cultivation in future. Four people have already died in the island, where CINI is directly working with more than 100 people injured. As the cyclone with tidal waves struck during daytime, villagers could run to the nearest safe and high ground such as local schools to take shelter. Livestock of cattle, goats, sheep and chicken were washed away by floodwater. There is a strong possibility of outbreak of health hazards such as gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory illnesses in near future due to inadequate shelter and protection of the displaced population. About 20,000 homeless people have taken shelter in school buildings, 2 flood centres of Panchayat. CINI has already provided some dry food for flood victims along with local Panchayat and state government.
Details of damages where we work:
Deaths : 04
Injuries : Above 100
House fully damaged : 1500 (approx)
House partly damaged : 6000 (approx)
Ponds flooded : 8000 (approx)
Betel leaf cultivation destroyed : 600 units (approx)
Agricultural land under saline water : 8000 acres (approx)

Details of requirement for temporary relief and rehabilitation:

Dry food, food grains, baby food for 20,000 people (approx)
Medicines, ORS, Bleaching powder, Halogen tabs etc. for 20,000 people (approx)
Polythene sheets : 2500 pcs (approx)
Clothing, specially for children & women for 20,000 people (approx)
Beddings (including mosquito net) for 20,000 people (approx)
Permanent shelter arrangement for 2500 families (approx)
**Number of fully damage house is increasing rapidly**.

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