Published: 18 Nov 2023, 10:55 am
The cyclone 'Midhili' formed in the Bay of Bengal and swept through Barishal, Khulna, and Chattogram on Friday, causing widespread destruction and claiming at least seven lives.
The cyclone wreaked havoc by demolishing houses, schools, and extensive stretches of cropland, in addition to disrupting power connections across the affected regions. Numerous trees were uprooted, leading to communication blockages on local roads.
Furthermore, 300 people aboard 20 fishing boats were reported missing at sea following the cyclone's impact on the Bangladesh coast.
By Friday midnight, Cyclone 'Midhili' was crossing the Bangladesh coast. As the cyclone weakened, maritime ports including Mongla, Payra, Chattogram, and Cox's Bazar were advised to lower signal no. 3.
Casualties included four members of a family in Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf, who were killed when their mud wall collapsed amid heavy rainfall on Thursday night. The victims were identified as Awara Begum (50), Fakir Mohammad's wife, their son Shahidul Mostafa (20), and their two daughters Nilufar Yesmin (15) and Sadia Begum (11).
Additionally, three individuals, including a child, lost their lives when tree branches fell on them during the storm. The victims were Abdul Wahab from Chattogram, Sidratul Muntaha (a minor girl) from Mirsharai, Chattogram, and Razzak Mia, a trader from Baisail upazila, Tangail.
Crops suffered extensive damage, with 180,000 hectares of Aman land affected in Patuakhali, accounting for 75% of the total Aman harvest. The cyclone also inflicted harm on vegetable crops, but the full extent of the damage is yet to be assessed.
Officials expressed concerns about the destruction of winter vegetables, citing incessant rainfall that damaged crops in Chandpur irrigation project and Meghna Dhanagada irrigation project. The Feni agriculture department reported damage to ripe Aman paddy on several thousand hectares of land.
The cyclone's impact disrupted communication, with instances such as a large tree falling on electric wires in Chandpur city, leading to the suspension of vehicle and train movements. Similar incidents were reported in Kachua, Shahrasti, and Hajiganj upazilas, as well as Haimchar, without casualties. In Feni, a fallen tree blocked the Feni-Porshuram road near the Kazirbag Eco Park in Sadar upazila, halting roadway communication until Friday evening. Train services were also interrupted in Brahmanbaria for two hours.