OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Bangladesh - Wind and Hail Storm
2 May 2000
1. On 21 April a ferocious northwesterly wind travelling at a speed of 120 kilometres an hour traversed the Districts of Netrokona and Rangpur in the north of Bangladesh. According to a report issued on 27 April by the Disaster Forum, a platform for several non-government organizations present in Bangladesh, the wind and accompanying hailstorm held for about an hour over the two Districts.
2. A vast area of low-lying flood plains stretching across the thanas (counties) of Alpara, Netrokona Sadar, Kendua and Purbadhala in Netrokona District and five of the thanas in Rangpur was adversely affected by the storm. Fifteen people lost their lives in Netrokona as a result of the storm, and 5 people died in Rangpur. More than 300 people in the affected area were injured.
3. The norwester caused a huge amount of damage to over 20 thousand acres of paddy, jute and sesame fields. Farmers depending on vegetable gardens for a livelihood were severely affected as many of these gardens and orchards of fruit trees were destroyed. These agricultural damages pose a nutritional threat, and inevitably generate economic loss. A further health hazard has been imposed by the destruction of latrines by wind and hail.
4. So far the Government of Bangladesh has not submitted any claim for international assistance. Local communities are engaged in drawing up lists of affected people in the nine thanas which suffered the effects of the storm.
5. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department is closely monitoring weather changes in the area, and has established the following website for dissemination of weather updates and satellite images of Bangladesh and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal: http://www.bangladeshonline.com/gob/bmd/.
The Disaster Forum report indicates that materials for cooking, shelter, education, agricultural rehabilitation (seeds, etc.), as well as cash funding are urgently needed.
6. OCHA is in close contact with the UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka and will revert with further information if the situation warrants it.
7. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int
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