An Indian soldier carries an elderly woman to safety in Ramnagar after Cyclone Yaas struck India's eastern coast in the Bay of Bengal on May 26. (Photo: AFP)
Cyclone Yaas slammed into Bangladesh and India, killing at least six people and leaving a trail of destruction including submerged and devastated crops, fish farms and houses in coastal regions.
Packing winds of 130-145kph, the storm made landfall on May 26, dumping heavy rain and damaging houses and farmland.
Authorities in the Indian state of West Bengal said at least 10 million people have been affected by the calamity.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said about 20,000 homes were damaged in the state, with the town of Digha "swamped" by 4-meter-high waves. One person was killed after being dragged out to sea, while another died after a house collapsed.
In 26 coastal subdistricts of nine districts of Bangladesh, 16,500 packets of dry and other food items have been allocated to deputy commissioners, said Enamur Rahman, minister for disaster management and relief.
“Control rooms have been opened in coastal districts for exchanging cyclone information. The National Disaster Response Coordination Center of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief has been working to collect and exchange information on the cyclone,” he said.
I have farmed shrimp with a lot of effort. All my hopes were washed away in the water
In southern Bangladesh, Yasin Ali, 38, of Shyamnagar in Satkhira district, said his shrimp farm had been submerged.
“I have farmed shrimp with a lot of effort. All my hopes were washed away in the water,” Ali told UCA New.
His mud house was destroyed and his five-member family are staying in a relative’s house.
“I lost everything. I invested around US$9,000 in my leased shrimp farm. How can I manage this loss and build or repair my home?” Ali asked.
Daud Jibon Das, regional director of Caritas Khulna, said Bangladesh considered the cyclone to be a small one but the damage was huge.
“Although the level of the storm was not high, the tide and the storm combined to increase the water level and flooded the locality. Mud houses are broken, fish farms under water,” he told UCA News.
Das said Caritas was asking for donations to help cyclone-affected people, particularly with housing and rehabilitation.