‘Amphan’ causes havoc in 26 dists

Staff Correspondent

23 May, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forest and houses damaged badly by the extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan that hit 26 districts especially the costal districts on Wednesday night.  

Coastal districts were hit by the cyclone with a wind speed of up to 180kph and over 10 feet tidal surges on Wednesday night to Thursday morning.

It inflicted heavy damage to lives, livelihood, agriculture, infrastructures, environment, as well as the largest mangrove forest in the world, the Sundarbans, in southwestern region of the country.

An initial estimate suggested that the damage caused by the cyclone runs into hundreds of crores of taka but it could increase further after an in-depth inspection.

 “An initial estimate suggests that the damage has been about Tk1,100 crore. The complete estimate will be available within seven days, said State Minister of Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman on Thursday.

According to Local Government Ministry, 11 kilometres of roads and 200 bridges and culverts were damaged in 16 coastal districts, while damage to mango orchards worth Tk150 core left the farmers worried about their future.

According to Water Resources Ministry, 150km flood control embankments were damaged while another 84 embankments developed cracks causing an estimated loss of Tk250-300 crore.

Fisheries Ministry said the livestock and fisheries sector suffered damage worth Tk490 crores – livestock Tk140 crore and fisheries Tk350 crore.    

Meanwhile, 1.80 lakh shrimp farms were also damaged during the cyclonic storm, Dr Enamur said. Crops on 1.76 lakh hectares were damaged across the country, said Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque.

Meanwhile, mango orchards on 3,000 hectares out of 4,000 hectares in Satkhira were severely damaged.

The minister said Amphan damaged 10 percent boro paddy of the total cultivation, five percent maize, 15 percent vegetable, 20 percent peanut, 20 percent sesame, 10 percent mango, 5 percent litchi, 10 percent banana, 50 percent papaya, 30 percent chili, 50 percent soybean and mung dal crops.

He said the total loss in the sector will be clear within two to three days, said the minister.

Around 20 million electricity connections, out of total 36.4 million across the country were cut off by cyclone Amphan. Sundarbans has been protecting the country from natural disasters over the years. The complete picture of damage to Sundarbans by cyclone Amphan was not possible to be estimated overnight.

In the Sundarbans, Kewra trees were hit the hardest, Shahab Uddin said, adding that the broken trees won’t be removed as Sundarbans would recover through natural process.

“Only damaged infrastructures will be overhauled and the salinity of the ponds will be removed and new ponds will be excavated if necessary,” the minister said.

In Bagerhat, 4,696 houses and 4,635 fish farms were damaged. Deputy Commissioner Md Mamunur Rashid said 374 houses collapsed while 4,349 were partially damaged in nine upazilas of the district.

Meanwhile, cyclone Amphan ravaged crops on 1,673 hectares. Over 300-meter embankment fully collapsed and 8km were partially damaged in Sharonkhola upazila. Palli Bidyut department counted a loss of Tk1.37 crore in the district, the DC added.

Bagerhat District Fisheries Officer Dr Khaled Kanak said tidal surge damaged 4,635 fish farms while some of them were totally floated.

In Satkhira, all upazilas were severely damaged while the accounts of overall damage are yet to be calculated, said Deputy Commissioner SM Mostafa Kamal.

In Khulna, over 4.45 lakh people were affected, almost 83,560 houses in 68 unions under nine upazilas were damaged while the people of Koyra upazila were the worst-hit, said District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Azizul Haque Zoarder.

In Jashore, six people were killed during the cyclone and hundreds of houses were damaged, said DC Mohammad Shafiul Arif.

Meanwhile, over 13.5km embankments totally collapsed by tidal surge, he said adding that 131 fish farms were flooded causing an estimated loss of 20mts fish worth Tk30 lakh. Crops on 250 hectares, vegetables on 50 hectares, seven mango orchards, betel leaf orchards and chili seed beds were damaged, the DC added.