Cyclone Fani reaches India and Bangladesh
9 May 2019
On Friday 3 May, Storm Fani made landfall in India and the south-eastern part of Bangladesh.
With wind speeds of up to 125mph, Storm Fani brought flooding and storm surges causing the destruction of property and crops in low-lying coastal districts.
Nana Anto-Awuakye, CAFOD’s World News Manager, who was in the Barishal region of Bangladesh as the storm approached, sent this report:
“Everyone here is following the progress of Storm Fani and unsure of its impact on Bangladesh.
“India is due to face the brunt of the storm, and even if the full impact of the storm doesn’t reach Barishal, people are preparing.”
In Bangladesh, cyclone season generally lasts from April to December and causes major damage to both crops and property.
In Barishal, Nana spoke to Mahinur, a working mother who is part of a local project to help community members learn new skills to make a living and adapt to climate change.
“The cyclone shelter is about 10 minutes away, but its condition isn’t very good after so many storms."
Mahinur, a working mother in Barishal
She said: “The cyclone shelter is about 10 minutes away, but its condition isn’t very good after so many storms.
“So, we head for a neighbour’s house, which is made of brick, and pray that this will protect us.
“We heard that another one (Storm Fani) might be coming over the next days, this scares us.”
When Cyclone Fani hit, Mahinur and her family were able to shelter in the local Ward Counselor’s house which is more sturdy than their own home.
Despite strong winds, thankfully, there was no major impact in her village or in her home and they are carrying on as normal.
How is CAFOD responding?
CAFOD is supporting Caritas Bangladesh – a local church organisation – who actively worked to send out early warnings, evacuate vulnerable people and manage shelter centres.
In total, they helped to shelter more than 33,500 people in 66 cyclone shelter centres and also provided 250 packets of dry food to families in hard-to-reach areas.
Caritas Bangladesh works closely with communities in these areas, teaching trades such as mechanics and tailoring so people aren’t solely reliant on farming in the unpredictable weather.