Thursday, June 4, 2009

Its the High Tide now! Cyclone Aila Update

Update from Asit Biswas, Help Tourism

Dear Friends,

Our Principal Field coordinator Mr. Anil Mistry is currently touring to the Islands to check the condition – especially the progress of repairing of embankments.

He reports:

The full moon tide has once again inundated the worst-affected areas like Kumirmari, Ranipur, Choto Mollakhali, Puinjali today making the future of the ill-fated Islanders completely shattered. There is no hope for any immediate reconstruction work to take place after such consecutive disasters with roughly 15,000 villagers becoming homeless and without any livelihood option left.

Emergency repairing of embankments could not be initiated as materials required for emergency repairing (Gunny bags, sand/clay, bamboo etc.) have not reached to these areas. Most of the villagers have taken shelter on the bunds or in local schools or Panchayat buildings. Private contractors have declined to come forward and repair the embankments here.
Repairing work has started in Bara Mollakhali, Taranagar areas sporadically but the Islands are still not fully protected as the tide will continue to rise for the next couple of days.
The situation is slightly better in Sandeshkhali, Hingalgunj, Patharpratima, Basanti and Gosaba though the condition in the interior villages has not improved much.

Food and medicines have finally reached many areas but there is still immense shortage of drinking water.

Government has requested Indian Army, Navy and Air Force to send special task force for providing emergency evacuation support, relief operations, and medical help and also to support the reconstruction work.

The next 4/5 days would be crucial as the Met office has bad news for us. Heavy depression is reported in the sea which can gain strength any moment and turn into a powerful storm.

More updates will follow soon.

For Cyclone Aila 2009 Support Group
Asit Biswas, India.

4th June 2009.


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