Thou­sands re­turn to flooded home­lands

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Tens of thou­sands of Bangladeshis have re­turned to wind-bat­tered vil­lages and rain-soaked fields af­ter a strong storm pum­meled the coast, killing at least 26 peo­ple over the week­end.

Au­thor­i­ties had or­dered about two mil­lion peo­ple to be evac­u­ated from coastal ar­eas be­fore Cy­clone Roanu hit the port city of Chit­tagong on Satur­day, but many ig­nored the call af­ter de­cid­ing the storm’s winds, blow­ing at up to 88kph, were not such a threat. The low-ly­ing delta na­tion has been reg­u­larly hit by much stronger storms.

Still, tens of thou­sands spent the week­end in cy­clone shel­ters. Mo­heshkhali is­land coun­cil chief Mo­hammed Ul­lah said about 100,000 is­lan­ders re­turned to dam­aged and flooded homes yes­ter­day, and many who lost their stored food sup­plies were strug­gling to find enough to eat.

“They have to start anew,” Ul­lah said. “Many are sur - viv­ing on just dry food, as their homes were sub­merged.”

Lo­cal me­dia re­ported at least 26 deaths caused by drown­ing or homes col­laps­ing dur­ing the storm, though of­fi­cials have yet to give a death toll.

Ul­lah said is­lan­ders on Mo­heshkhali were now in con­stant fear that a 28km stretch of mud em­bank­ment badly dam­aged in the storm will col­lapse and al­low sea­wa­ter to swamp their homes and fields.

An­other 5,000 peo­ple in the vil­lage of Ta­jimud­din in Bhola district were also strug­gling to find enough to eat af­ter the storm dam­aged their homes, ac­cord­ing to the Daily Star news­pa­per.

With mil­lions liv­ing along the vul­ner­a­ble coast, Bangladesh has worked to im­prove storm pre­pared­ness and to is­sue evac­u­a­tion or­ders.

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