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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cyclone Aila hits India and Bangladesh

Frequently we all tend to discount the threat from tropical storms and Cat 1 hurricanes. I know I have said more than once if it is a Cat 3 or above I'll go but for a category 1 or 2 I'll just ride it out. Well two of the deadliest storms in Houston (not including Ike) were tropical storms Allison and Alecia. Both of these storms caused major flooding resulting in bad property damage and a loss of life.

Hurricane season starts next week in the western hemisphere, but tropical storms are active throughout the year in the Pacific and around south Asia. Today tropical Cyclone Aila came ashore near the border of India and Bangladesh. Aila came ashore as a Category 1 - a minimal cyclone with 75 mph winds and caused an immense amount of damage.


KOLKATA: A day after cyclone Aila battered coastal West Bengal, especially 24 Parganas, uprooting trees, snapping power cables and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, rescue operations were on in full swing Tuesday with the army also moving in to help, as the death toll mounted to 82. The cyclone that also affected more than 400,000 people has begun to weaken and move off. Twenty-two people have died due to heavy landslides in Darjeeling, while in North 24 Parganas, 16 were killed in the storms. Fifteen deaths were reported from South 24 Parganas and nine in Kolkata. Seven people lost their lives in Howrah, five in Hooghly, three in Murshidabad, two in Birbhum and one each in Malda, East Midnapore and Bakura. The state government carried out rescue operations in Kolkata's neighbouring South 24 Parganas district where the cyclone and the accompanying heavy rains inundated large swathes of land and left thousands homeless.
Cyclone Aila swallows Sunderbans tigers

As the human toll from Monday's cyclone rose to 64, beat officers and range officials in the Sunderbans feared hundreds of herbivores and at least a dozen tigers might have been swept away by the giant waves that lashed the forests. While a tiger had sneaked into the Jamespur village wading through the flood waters and was tranquillised early on Tuesday morning, 20 crocodiles and two spotted deer were found dead. The full extent of the damage will be known only after an assessment by forest teams. As per the last census, the Sunderbans had 265 tigers.
Cyclone Aila kills nearly 200 in Bangladesh, India

DHAKA (Reuters) – Nearly 200 people have been killed by a cyclone that ripped through Bangladesh and eastern India, while millions remained marooned by floodwater or forced to live in shelters.

The death toll in Bangladesh rose to more than 130 following recovery of dozens of bodies Tuesday, newspapers and private television channels said, while Indian officials said at least 64 people had died in West Bengal state.

Cyclone Aila slammed into parts of coastal Bangladesh and eastern India Monday, triggering tidal surges and flooding that forced people from their homes.

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