Bangladesh: Cyclone Bulbul - Operation Update Report n° 1, DREF n° MDRBD023

Situation Report
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Description of the disaster

The special weather bulletin issued by the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) informed about a cyclone developing over the northwest Bay of Bengal (BoB) on the 7 November 2019. Cyclone “Bulbul” reincarnating from Cyclone “Mamto” categorized as “very severe”, made landfall over India on 9 November 2019 before entering Bangladesh on 10 November 2019 (Bangladesh local time 12:00 am -1:00 am). The cyclone impacted total thirteen southern districts of the country while packing up winds of up to 120 km/h (75 mph) and gusts of up to 130km/h (80mph). The cyclone stayed in Bangladesh for around 36 hours-one of the longest enduring cyclones that Bangladesh has ever faced in the last 52 years. The impacted coastal sea line faced greater than three meters inundation at average due to the heavy precipitation and tidal surge1 . According to Khulna Met Office, the cyclone hit the Sundarbans with a wind speed of 120-130 km/h.

Around 2.1 million people were evacuated and moved to some 5,587 cyclone centers on 9 November with the help of Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP) volunteers, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), Fire Service and Civil Defense (FSCD), Police Armed Forces and other organizations after BMD assigned various warning signals along the coastal districts in anticipation of Cyclone Bulbul.

Among all the districts affected by Cyclone Bulbul, Satkhira was worst affected followed by Khulna, Bhola, Bagerhat, Patuakhali, Barguna and Pirojpur. The cyclone affected around 722,674 people in Satkhira, Khulna, Bhola, Bagerhat, Patuakhlai, Barguna and Pirojpur districts. More than 108,000 houses and 117,000 hectares of crops affected along with significant damages to several embankments by cyclone Bulbul. According to the daily disaster report published by Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), nine people have been reported dead from various causes during the cyclone.

World’s largest natural mangrove forest- the Sundarbans took a massive blow of Cyclone Bulbul which significantly slowed down the speed before it entered the locality. There were no wildlife casualties reported; however, around 4,589 trees were damaged according to the Bangladesh Forest Department. The western part of Sundarban saw a damage of approximately 4,000 trees and 587 trees in the eastern part as reported in Cyclone Bulbul 2019 joint rapid assessment by Need Assessment Working Group (NAWG). The assessment also reports that a loss of USD 5.5 million (approx. CHF 5.4 million) in fisheries was faced with a total of 11,223 hectares of affected pond/gher (fish farm) land and initial livestock damage was USD 285,000 (approx. CHF 281,979). The affected areas are heavily dependent on agriculture and fisheries as indicated by their loss.