Cyclone Remal Hits Bangladesh and Eastern India: Seven Dead, Hundreds of Thousands Without Power – South Asia Time

Cyclone Remal Hits Bangladesh and Eastern India: Seven Dead, Hundreds of Thousands Without Power

 May 28, 2024  

Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 28 — Cyclone Remal wreaked havoc on southern Bangladesh and eastern India on Monday, flooding coastal villages, destroying homes, and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. Initial reports indicate that at least seven people have died.

In Bangladesh, dozens of villages were inundated as flood protection embankments were either washed away or damaged by the storm surge. Approximately 800,000 people were evacuated from vulnerable areas on Sunday, according to local authorities.

Somoy TV, a Dhaka-based television station, reported that at least seven individuals lost their lives due to the cyclone, and two more are missing following a boat capsizing incident.

In India’s West Bengal state, the cyclone caused significant damage, blowing away thatched roofs and uprooting electric poles and trees in several coastal districts. While there were no immediate reports of fatalities, heavy rains flooded streets and homes in Kolkata’s low-lying areas.

Cyclone Remal made landfall in Bangladesh’s Patuakhali district early Monday with winds sustaining at 111 kph (69 mph). The Bangladesh Meteorological Department reported that the winds have since decreased to 90 kph (56 mph), with gusts reaching 120 kph (75 mph).

The India Meteorological Department forecasted that Remal would continue to weaken throughout the day but warned of heavy rainfall over Assam and other northeastern states for the next two days.

As a precaution, the Kolkata airport, which had been closed on Sunday, reopened, while Bangladesh shut down Chattogram airport and cancelled all domestic flights to and from Cox’s Bazar. Operations at the Chittagong seaport were also halted, with over a dozen ships moved to the deep sea for safety.

Volunteers in Bangladesh assisted hundreds of thousands of evacuees to reach up to 9,000 cyclone shelters. Authorities have closed all schools in the affected regions until further notice.

Remal is the first cyclone of this year’s Bay of Bengal cyclone season, which precedes the monsoon season running from June to September. The increasing intensity of cyclones due to changing climate patterns has heightened the urgency of disaster preparedness along India’s coasts.

As recovery efforts begin, the full impact of Cyclone Remal on both human lives and infrastructure will become clearer in the coming days.