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Aftermath of Cyclone Aila

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  • Aftermath of Cyclone Aila


    Bengal Plus

    Villagers cry for relief

    ;Statesman News Service
    KOLKATA, 27 MAY: A day after chief minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Union railway minister, Miss Mamata Banerjee, visited the Aila-hit areas in South 24-Parganas, the villagers were yet to recover from the aftereffects of the natural disaster.
    The affected people, taking shelter in different relief camps across different parts of the district, complained that safe drinking water and medicines were not supplied to them. Reports of outbreak of water-borne diseases came in from places like Gosaba, Basanti, Patharprotima, Kultali and coastal parts of Joynagar block, but the district administration is yet to send medical teams and medicines in the worst affected areas.
    Deaths of five more people, were reported today, thus taking the death toll to 32 people in the district.
    The chief minister, on his visit to the affected areas on Tuesday, asked the state government officials, to work on war-footing, to provide food and safe drinking water to the affected people, taking shelter in different relief camps. But majority of the affected people, are yet to get safe drinking water. Mr Khalil Ahmed, district magistrate of South 24-Parganas, said that the distruct was reeling uner an acute crisis of drinking water, though they were trying their best to provide safe drinking water, to the people.
    Mr Amhed, who was in Gosaba, supervising the relief work said, they have been able to provide safe drinking water in Basanti and Gosaba blocks, on Wednesday. A team of 18 doctors reached in the affected areas, to bring an awareness about the precautionary measures to the people and district officials have also been engaged in providing bleaching, zeoline tablets and ORS to them, he added.
    Reports of people suffering from enteric came in from places like Petkulchand, Jamtala, Nimpith, Purba, Gurguria and Madhya Gurguria, under Gosaba block. All these areas are, still inundated with saline water.
    Thousands of animal carcasses, scattered all over and emitting pungent odour, has made the situation worse for the people.
    Mr Amhed said that the outbreak of enteric took place because people of those areas were consuming rotten fish, which were being made available at cheaper rates. “We have urged them, not to consume fish and water from anywhere, other than those provided by the government officials. And several measures have been taken to meet the crisis of safe drinking water,” he added.
    Damage control
    The Trinamul Congress led Opposition today demanded that a special meeting be convened at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to hold discussions relating to the devastation caused by the cyclone Aila and the civic body’s failure to carry out relief operations across the city.
    The demand for a special meeting was raised after proceedings at the monthly meeting (House) of the KMC came to an abrupt halt today. The Trinamul Congress led Opposition demanded that discussions be carried out on an adjournment motion regarding the civic body’s failure to provide relief to citizens affected by the devastation caused by the cyclone.
    Leader of Opposition at KMC, Mr Javed Ahmed Khan, sought permission to raise an adjournment motion. However, the chairman, Mr Nirmal Mukherjee, shot down the proposal stating that since discussion on another adjournment motion was pending, Mr Khan’s motion was disallowed.
    Calling the chairman’s decision to disallow the adjournment motion as “partial and biased”, Trinamul councillors boycotted proceedings at the monthly meeting.

  • #2
    Re: Aftermath of Cyclone Aila


    Cyclone strands millions in West Bengal and Bangladesh
    Fri May 29, 2009 2:42pm IST

    By Sujoy Dhar

    KOLKATA (Reuters) - Millions of people in West Bengal and Bangladesh remained marooned without food or water on Friday, four days after cyclone Aila hit them, and authorities said disease was becoming a serious problem.

    The cyclone killed at least 275 people, but officials say the toll could mount due to epidemics in the aftermath.

    Cyclone Aila hit parts of coastal Bangladesh and West Bengal on Monday, triggering tidal surges and floods and destroying hundreds of thousands of homes.

    It caused extensive damage to rice and other crops but officials say they were still assessing the losses.

    In communist-ruled West Bengal, at least 5.1 million people were displaced, with more than one million people stranded in Sundarban islands alone, most of them without any food or water, officials said.

    At least 100 people have died in the eastern state.

    "The situation is alarming and we need a lot of help to combat the outbreak of water-borne diseases," Kanti Ganguly, a senior West Bengal minister, told Reuters on Friday.

    Heavy rains triggered by the cyclone raised river levels and burst mud embankments in the Sundarbans delta, causing widespread flooding and triggering landslides.

    The Indian Air force air-dropped supplies to remote islands in the Sundarabans on Friday, and people scampered to grab packets of pre-cooked food, water and medicines, witnesses said.

    "We are carrying out sorties every day and we have been able to cover some remote places today," Mahesh Upasani, a defence ministry spokesman, said in Kolkata.

    In Bangladesh, more than three million people have been hit by the cyclone, and cases of diarrhoea have broken out, due to an acute scarcity of drinking water.

    The death toll from cyclone Aila in Bangladesh touched 175 after 15 bodies were found on Thursday, mostly in southwestern Satkhira district, local officials and aid workers said on Friday.

    Officials said hundreds of people were missing in the 15 affected districts, mostly on the coasts, where survivors desperately need food and drinking water.

    The cyclone also killed a large number of cattle, adding to the woes of farmers still trying to get back on their feet after cyclone Sidr in November 2007 killed 3,500 people in coastal districts.

    (Additional reporting by Ruma Paul)

    © Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved


    • #3
      Re: Aftermath of Cyclone Aila


      Bangladesh cyclone victims face diarrhoea threat

      DHAKA (AFP) — A government doctor in Bangladesh warned Friday that the southern part of the country was on the brink of an acute diarrhoea outbreak, days after a cyclone hit the region and neighbouring India.

      At least 219 people were killed after Cyclone Aila on Monday slammed into the coast north of the Bay of Bengal, where a large-scale military and civilian relief operation is under way.

      "There's an acute shortage of drinking water and as a result diarrhoea has broken out," Lutsur Rahman Khan, medical chief of Bangladesh's Khulna district, told AFP.

      "The situation is bad and it's a race against time to prevent a full-scale epidemic from breaking out."

      Khan said several levees had been washed away by the cyclone, particularly in Dakope and Koyra close to the Indian border, meaning areas were being flooded during high tides.

      Drinking water is in short supply and the salty water could not be treated with purification tablets, he said, adding that water-treatment facilities brought in by the army were also unable to purify sea water.

      Some 149 people died in Bangladesh -- where more than 500,000 people's homes were damaged or destroyed -- while 70 more people were killed in India following Monday's cyclone.

      About 20 of those killed in West Bengal in India died a day after the storm in mudslides caused by rainfall in the hill resort of Darjeeling.

      The low-lying region frequently experiences tropical storms and cyclones during the monsoon season.

      In 2007, more than 3,500 people were killed, most of them in Bangladesh, when Cyclone Sidr hit the same districts.