Christian Aid releases £100,000 to help communities affected by Cyclone Mahasen
17 May 2013 - Christian Aid is releasing £100,000 emergency funds to partner organisations in Bangladesh to help them distribute food and provide emergency assistance to vulnerable communities hit by Cyclone Mahasen. Nearly 1.3 million people have been affected, 128,000 homes destroyed and 14 people are dead after heavy rain and cyclone-strength rains hit low-lying coastal regions of Bangladesh on Thursday evening.
Volunteers, many from local Christian Aid partner organisations, used loud speakers, hand-held sirens and hoisted flags to warn remote communities of the approaching storm, which sent a million people fleeing to evacuation centres.
Mahasen comes almost exactly four years since Cyclone Aila devastated coastal communities in Bangladesh and India, killing 200 people and making millions homeless.
Earlier this week, the UN warned that around 8.2 million people, in Bangladesh, Myanmar and north-east India could be at risk from the Cyclone Mahasen – later downgraded to a tropical storm.
Christian Aid local partner organisations Agrajjatra, CCDB, Shushilan and DSK monitored the cyclone’s movement and supported the evacuation of communities in coastal Cox’s Bazar, Potuakhali, Barguna and Khulan districts. Some 250 people sought refuge in a newly built Christian Aid funded cyclone shelter constructed by DSK in Khulna.
Ram Kisham, Christian Aid’s Regional Emergency Manager South Asia, said: ‘Bangladesh has a robust early warning system at both local and national levels, with radio and TV channels relaying information and warning people of the threat.
‘However, it’s in the remote hard to reach areas where Christian Aid partners have been helping most. The early warning systems have all proved successful in helping communities evacuate to safer ground.
‘Planning and preparing for emergencies such as this is crucial and I am pleased say that Christian Aid partners and volunteers teams have worked tirelessly to help communities shelter safely from this storm.’
If you would like further information please contact Melanie Smith on 0207 523 2416. 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950