A major cyclone has hit Bangladesh on 15-16 November 2007. News from the Mission's compounds suggests that this is the worst such disaster to hit the communities we serve for many years. A brief commentary received on 17 November from the Mission reads as follows:
"Barisal suffered the loss of many large trees which fell onto the hostels and houses within the compound - no life was lost. Many people flocked to the compound for safety after losing their homes and contents to the cyclone. Mother Susila says this was the worst cyclone known to her.
The waterways at Jobarpar are full to overflowing. Trees have been blown down within the compound and have damaged the hostel and cowshed. The cows have been moved into where the Playgroup is held. In the surrounding villages people have lost their homes.
Mother will return to Jobarpar on Monday, but communication might be a problem as telephone masts will have been blown down. The Government is doing its best to restore electricity etc."
If you would like to help, the Oxford Mission is raising a special disaster fund to assist in the restoration and rebuilding of its own compound in Barisal and to provide support to the local community. To help please send donations to the General secretary:
1. marked "OM Cyclone relief 2007" if you wish to give for the Mission compounds and their work, or
2. marked "Bangladesh relief 2007" if you prefer to give to support the wider community.
(click here) for the address, or donate via Donate Now!
From the BBC:
Rescuers are continuing efforts to try to reach people hit by a powerful cyclone that tore through southern Bangladesh killing at least 2,000.
For more details click on the link news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7100359.stm
Click on the link for details news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7100879.stm
At least 600 people are reported to have died after a powerful cyclone smashed into Bangladesh's coast, levelling villages and uprooting trees.
Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated or sought safe shelter before the storm hit the coast from the Bay of Bengal, but some were left behind.
The true extent of the devastation remains unclear as the storm has blocked access to the affected areas."
For more click on this link news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7097678.stm
Other reports are available from:
The New York Times: www.nytimes.com/2007/11/16/world/asia/17cyclone.html
The International Federation of the Red Cross:
Sidr hit the coast of Bangladesh last night (15 November) at 6:45 PM local time and reached the capital Dhaka in the early hours of this morning. Although the storm has now weakened, it has left a trail of unimaginable destruction in its wake. Local authorities are reporting that at least 500 people have been confirmed dead, with thousands of others injured or missing. There are also reports that 150 fishing trawlers and their crews are still unaccounted for, having failed to return to shore before the storm hit.