Early warning worked in Bangladesh but now the challenge of recovery

Posted on November 24, 2007  /  1 Comments

10000 is too many.  But it does look like lots of lives were saved by the early warning system that is one of the major achievements of Bangladesh.  Yes, if it worked better, fewer people would have died.   But which other country which is in the path of cyclones like Sidr has cyclone shelters for 1.5 million people?  Which other has a working warning system with trained personnel at the village level?  

Bangladesh’s cyclone | The cruel sea | Economist.com

It could have been worse. A robust cyclone-warning system saved thousands of lives. Some 1.5m people had taken refuge in cyclone shelters when winds of 250km per hour (155mph) and a 5-metre (16-foot) tidal surge hit the coastline after nightfall on November 15th. The economic fallout would also have been much more calamitous if the cyclone had hit one of the country’s two main cities, Dhaka and Chittagong. The country’s deadliest cyclone, in 1970, whipped up a wave that engulfed Chittagong. At least 300,000 people perished.

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1 Comment

  1. New reports suggest the casualty toll will stop at 3300: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/147940.html

    While we can all be happy about how many lives were saved by early warning and evacuation, the people of Bangladesh will face much greater problem in recovery because that many more people saved their lives but had their homes and livelihoods wiped out.