Eleven years after the devastating Cyclone Sidr, the survivors of Sharankhola upazila, the worst affected area of the district, are still recalling the nightmare of the cyclone that claimed hundreds lives as well as destroyed cattle, crops and dwelling houses.
Those who lost their loved ones are still bemoaning the tragic death of their near and dear ones.Though the life of people is getting normal, they still bear the scars of the havoc of Sidr. During a recent visit to Bogi village in Sharankhola upazila, this UNB correspondent found that there are some makeshift houses on the bank of the Boleshwar River. A few families are living there. Besides, a number of multi-story cyclone centers were constructed in the area.
Taking to UNB, Alatunnesa, an elderly woman of Bogi village, said she lost her husband, daughter-in-law, grandson and granddaughter.Recalling the nightmare, she said, “A chest-deep water came suddenly and washed them away while they were going to the cyclone shelter on the night of Sidr. I grasped a tree tightly and survived.”
Ruhul Amin said he had lost his father and two children on that day. He also recalled how he had recovered the bodies of his relatives from different places after the devastating cyclone. Salma Begum, another resident of the village, said, “My husband went to the Sundarbans to catch fish. I was alone in my house with my two–year-old daughter Mitu and five-year-old son Naim.
“When the cyclone hit the area, I took my daughter on my lap and my son in one hand. But suddenly my daughter and son were washed away due the heavy pressure of water. I tried my best to save them but failed.”Naim’s body was retrieved one day later from a nearby area, but Mitu’s body was never found, she said.
Tapan Kumar Biswash, deputy commissioner, said according to the government account, some 908 people were killed while 76 people went missing in Cyclonic storm Sidr that lashed the district in November 15, 2007.Some 1,627 square kilometer areas were destroyed while 65,000 houses were damaged by the cyclone, he said.
Mohammad Sahadat Hossain, executive engineer of LGED, Bagerhat, said 34 cyclone shelters have been constructed in different parts of the district which have also are also used as schools. “Besides, connecting roads were also built as people can reach the shelter centers quickly during the natural disaster.”