Report on Cyclone Aila (which devastated sections of India in May of 2009)

July 20, 2009

Cyclone Aila hits the Sundarban Islands

 

            On May 25th, 2009 a heavy storm called AILA CYCLONE came from Bay of Bengal and covered the Sundarban Island in 6ft of water. It swept out houses, trees and killed more than 200 people (BBC news). More than 50,000 people lost their homes. Many people survived the cyclone because it started around 12 noon, but if it started at night many would have died.

 

1        People lost their houses.

2        They had to stay in High Brick houses, High School, Church and on the high river bank or road in a Terpolin shade (Govt. & different NGO provided Terpolin).

3        As the Bay of Bengal water swept everything, people did not have any means to cook (wood, fuel, stove or cooking utilities). Therefore there were different camps where rice & curry (Dal, Veg) was cooked and served to the Aila victims.

4        There was lack of food for first one week but later on through govt. & local people and NGO’s beside the people.

5        The whole area smelled bad because of the stagnant water still trapped in that killed all the plants, fish, animal and humans.

6        The sea water damaged the sweet water & cultivation. Therefore as the Island people main source of income is fishy culture & cultivation, they will be without income for two years to get rid of the salty of water and land.

7        Presently due to dirty water, they need pure drinking water & bathing water (Tube well).

8        A lot of mosquito nets are required because of all the stagnant water.

9        Many people lost of their clothes too, so clothes are also needed.

10    Also the school, college students all books & note-books had been damage, therefore some help for the children are essential.

11    Just after AILA Cyclone many people suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, fever, skin diseases day by day, therefore the medical help is essential. Many medical teams have gone to the victims to extend their hand still there is a great need.

12    Rehabilitation work has to be done as early as possible as the monsoon season is coming. Therefore those who had lost their houses need to build A THACHED HOUSE with a Tin/tile shade as early as possible.

13    The Government is taking responsibility to rebuild the river bank which had been destroyed by AILA cyclone. We need to ask for help from the developed countries like the Netherlands because their country is built on water, they will know a lot about this matter. Our Prime Minister or finance minister or the irrigation department needs to ask for help from the UN to provide assistance with the help from World Bank.

14    Need to establish primary health care centre in each Island.

15    For the source of income we need to do research for fishing, cultivation, dairy, poultry and livestock.

16    25 % of the people have left the islands.

 

 

Some Incidents:

 

  1. A boy ran to our Satjelia Church when the cyclone hit and the water level was about                     10ft high. He came and told our pastor Subrato, “Water, water!”.10 minutes later the water came and flooded the Church and the pond. It even brought along a crocodile with it to our pond.
  2. As the water was coming over the river bank the believers of the Kumirmary Church told the pastors wife to take their two children and run to their brother’s house, since it was made with brick. They just took their clothes and ran. They survived the cyclone.
  3.  Samir and Swapna Biswas of Chotomollakhali Church said that the water came up to their bed-room. They hung all their clothes on the ceiling and sat on top of their beds. Dead animals floated around, and they saw fish swim around in their barn. Their cows survived after 8 days when the water resided.
  4. We thank God for keeping Sorojini, a very poor lady’s mud house safe. It did not brake down. She is very faithful; keep praying for her.

 

 

This report was provided by WRF member Sukrit Roy who can provide further details about the situation and about the needs of the Christians there.   sukrit_roy529@hotmail.com