Cyclone Sidr Devastates Bangladesh 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 16 Nov 2007 19:48:00 GMT

The Daily Star:
Bangladesh dated with a nightmare as cyclone Sidr ripped through the southwestern coast late Thursday, killing over 700 people and demolishing houses, crops, vegetables and trees alike along its trail of devastation over an area of thousands of square kilometers.

Packing winds over 220km an hour, the fierce tropical storm roared across the shoreline after it hit landfall at the Khulna-Barisal coast at 7:30pm Thursday, cutting off all communications and utility services across the country.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 47 years life,” Khalilur Rahman, a government official in Patuakhali, told The Daily Star over telephone last night. “It was a panic beyond description. People found no way but to keep on screaming as long as the cyclone ran rampage here.”

Dr. Jeff Masters, Wunderground:
Storm surge is usually the biggest killer in Bangladesh cyclones, and was responsible for the vast majority of the 140,000 people killed in the 1991 Bangladesh Cyclone. This storm struck eastern Bangladesh as a Category 5 cyclone—the only Category 5 cyclone on record to hit the country. The triangular shape of Bengal Bay funnels high surges into the apex of the triangle where Bangladesh sits, and the shallow bottom of the bay allows extraordinarily high storm surges to pile up. The maximum storm surge from Sidr was probably 20-25 feet, and affected the regions near and to the right of where the eye made landfall. The eye fortunately came ashore in the Sundarbans Forest, the world’s largest forest of mangrove trees. This region is the least populated coastal area in the country. Storm surge levels of 10-20 feet probably affected the provinces of Barguna and Paruakhali, which are more heavily populated. Undoubtedly, the storm surge killed many more people in these provinces, and Sidr’s death toll will go much higher. However, Bangladesh has done a much better job providing shelters and evacuating people during cyclones since the 1991 storm. Over 650,000 people did evacuate from Sidr, and it is unlikely the death toll will put the storm on the list of the world’s deadliest cyclones of all time.

The International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies has launched an emergency appeal for support.


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  1. Kelly Mon, 19 Nov 2007 19:38:57 GMT


    I noticed that over the last several months you blogged often about Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet – the innovative public art project in Chicago that represented simple solutions to global warming. Starting Monday, November 26 for one week only, select large and mini-globes from the Cool Globes exhibit in Chicago will be auctioned to raise funds for the Chicago Conservation Corp Clubs, which provide environmental education opportunities for Chicago’s youth.

    Among the globes to be auctioned are mini-globes from:

    • Bill Clinton
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    • Jenny Lennon and the cast of “Reno 911”
    • Magic Johnson
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    I thought your blog readers might be interested in learning more. Please feel free to reply with any questions and I hope you’ll consider writing about this. Thanks!

    - Kelly

    Ed. —I have actually never blogged about Cool Globes, but at least this spam is on topic.