Millions affected as Cyclone Remal batters the coast of Bangladesh

By Islamic Relief

Millions affected as Cyclone Remal batters the coast of Bangladesh

Islamic Relief is expanding the emergency response to help those affected by an enormous cyclone that has laid waste to the Bangladeshi coastline over the past few days.

More than 3.7 million people across 19 districts have been affected, with more than 35,000 homes destroyed and a further 115,000 suffering damage. The districts of Bagerhat, Satkhira, Khulna, and Patuakhali have been most heavily affected.

Thousands of people remain trapped in waterlogged coastal areas as the strong winds and heavy rainfall continue.

A devastating impact

After making landfall close to the Bangladesh-India border, Cyclone Remal has battered coastal regions with strong gales of 110 km/h. Torrential rain and huge tidal surges as large as 7 feet high have left countless villages flooded.

According to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, over 800,000 people have been evacuated to shelters amid fears up to 8.4 million could ultimately be affected. 10 individuals have died as a result of the cyclone.

Due to the heavy rainfall, landslides are forecast in areas such as Cox’s Bazar, Chattogram, and the hill districts. The Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar could be affected, with landslides threatening approximately 27,000 Rohingya. More than 840 shelters have been reported as partially or totally damaged so far.

The cyclone has caused further issues with 26 million people living in Bangladesh’s coastal belt currently without electricity. Rising floodwaters have also caused embankments to break in regions such as Kalapara in the Patuakhali district, Amtali in the Barguna district, and Gabura in the Satkhira district.

Bangladesh is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change, regularly suffering extremes including heatwaves and flooding.

Going where Islamic Relief is most needed

Islamic Relief had already begun to help survivors of the cyclone, providing supplementary food packs in the hours before the cyclone made landfall. More than 300 of the most vulnerable families in Satkira received food packs of rice, sugar, energy biscuits, and drinking water that will last at least 7 days.

Moving forward, Islamic Relief’s emergency response will be targeting the badly affected areas of Amtali of Barguna district and Kalapara of Patuakhali district where we will provide 500 families with food packs.

The initial allocation will also aim to provide 1,735 families with hygiene kits and cash transfers enabling them to purchase food, access clean water, and emergency shelter items.

As the rainfall continues, Islamic Relief will continue to liaise with the Bangladesh government and work with local authorities to increase our emergency response.