Office of the UN Resident Coordinator – Flash Update No. 3 - Bangladesh | 2019 Severe Cyclonic Storm “Fani”
5 May 2019: After crossing Bangladesh on Saturday without causing major damage, Cyclone “Fani” has dissipated. According to the Bangladesh Metrological Department’s latest weather situation update, issued on 5 May, squalls were now unlikely over the North Bay and adjoining coastal areas. Maritime ports in Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra have been advised to lower the level of their warning signal.
The significant preparedness and immediate response measures taken by the authorities, together with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and volunteers, limited the loss of life and damage to property and infrastructure. People who took shelter in cyclone centres returned home on the afternoon of 4 May. The authorities reported that 1.6 million people from coastal regions were evacuated to cyclone shelters, where dry food, medicine and drinking water were provided. The strong winds and tidal surges breached 32 kilometers of river embankments, creating localized inundations.
Initial estimates from the National Disaster Response Coordination Centre of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief indicate that approximatively 53,000 acres of agricultural land and 13,000 houses were damaged across the country. However, the preliminary estimates undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture indicate that up to 36,414 hectares (89,981 acres) of crops were affected in 21 districts. According to the Ministry of Food, the current national stocks of rice and wheat are sufficient to prevent any shortage of food.
The initial assessment performed by the Department of Public Health Engineering’s Emergency Operations Centre reported that some 3,300 tube-wells and 30 latrines were damaged in Patuakhali, Borguna and Bhola districts.
According to the Health Emergency Operations Centre and Control Room of the Directorate General of Health Services, 14 people lost their lives and 45 people sustained injuries due to lightning, falling trees and house collapses. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is still closely monitoring the overall situation at the local level in order to prevent possible disease outbreaks in case of disrupted water and sanitation systems in low-lying inundated areas.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief distributed 3,800 metric tons of rice, 19.7 million Bangladeshi Taka in cash and, 41,000 dry food packages. In addition to the emergency allocations to the affected districts, it is providing cash assistance to the families of those who lost their lives to the cyclone.
The humanitarian community is developing a joint situation analysis with the Department of Disaster Management in order to provide a fuller picture of the scope of the damage, disruption and distress caused by “Fani,” as well as to highlight any possible future risks. The report will be used to strengthen further disaster preparedness and risk reduction measures under the leadership of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.
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