Cyclone took everything they had | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 29, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:52 AM, May 29, 2020

Cyclone took everything they had

Mahmuda Akhter and her two children were heading towards Moharajpur area in Koyra upazila yesterday to look for a dry place to live.

Her house near Horinkhola embankment in the upazila was destroyed by Cyclone Amphan which battered the country's coastal areas on May 20.

"There is nothing left in my house. The tidal surge has washed away everything," she told The Daily Star yesterday.

The homemaker said they tried to stay in their village, but they could not as it was under knee-deep water. Besides, there was no food either.

"Nobody gave us food as it is very hard to reach our village," said Mahmuda.

About 70 villages in Koyra upazila went under water on May 20 when the embankment breached.

Like Mahmuda, hundreds of other people from those villages were looking for dry places and food.

Many people told this correspondent that they had been starving for the last couple of days and were yet to receive any government aid.

Sagar Sheikh from Golakhali village in Koyra said, "We have no way to survive. We have no accommodation and food. Nobody helped us."

He has decided to take shelter at his relative's house in a nearby village.

Sources said about two lakh people in the area have been badly affected by the cyclone. The local administration has so far distributed 50 tonnes of rice, 500 packets of dry food and Tk 75 lakh among the cyclone victims in the upazila.

Harshit Mandal, a local, also used to live near the Harinkhola embankment.

Asked if he received any relief, he said, "Only providing relief would not solve our problems as we don't have a place to live. We urge the government to repair the embankment as soon as possible."

The entire area would become uninhabitable if the embankment was not repaired, Harshit said, adding that the locals were already suffering from different waterborne diseases.

Dr Sujat Ahmed, civil Surgeon of Khulna, said huge quantities of saline water entered the area during the cyclone which was causing the diseases.

"People will face a crisis of drinking water due to salinity which would worsen the situation," he said.

The civil surgeon expressed concern that the salinity might cause health hazards in the area for a long time.

Khulna Livestock Officer Kazi Mostahim Billah said about 60 percent of the district's livestock was affected by the cyclone. Around 40,000 cattle have been shifted to another upazila.

Koyra UNO Shimul Kumar Saha said he visited the affected areas. "I have informed the higher authorities about the prevailing situation there."

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