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Tropical Cyclone Roanu

© UNICEF Bangladesh/2016/Nazrul Islam
Cyclone Roanu affected family in Tazumuddin Upazilla, Bhola.

What happened?
On 21 May, Tropical Cyclone Roanu made landfall in the coast of Southern Bangladesh forcing half a million people to flee their homes and leaving 24 people dead. Torrential rains, floods and landslides disrupted power and road communications and damaged infrastructure. At least 15 districts are affected, with Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Noakhali, Lakshimpur, Bhola, Barguna and Patuakhali among the worst affected.

Rapid damage assessments by the national authorities estimate that 139,852 households representing 700,000 people are affected. 83,978 houses are fully or partially damaged. Some villages have reported a lack of drinking water. Some tube well and latrines are reported damaged hence a risk that flooding has contaminated ground water, heightening the likelihood of disease outbreaks. Food supplies worth US$12.5 million were damaged. Up to 5,000 people in Shashinganj and Mahajankanda villages in the Tajumuddin upazila of Bhola are reportedly without food supplies.

Many schools have been closed as they are being used for shelter. Some schools, in particular those from Char areas, have been damaged due to water logging. Around 500 high school students in Shashinganj and Mahajankanda villages in the Tajumuddin upazila of Bhola have reportedly lost textbooks and school materials. Precise information will be available upon completion of Joint Needs Assessments.

Humanitarian leadership and coordination
District administration and relevant government departments have exercised prompt early warning by evacuating half a million people before Roanu’s landfall. On 21 May, prior to landfall, an ad-hoc Humanitarian Coordination Task Team meeting was held to share information on the situation and level of preparedness. The Government is responding to the immediate food needs of the affected population and plans to provide small cash grants. In addition, the Government has officially requested support from development partners and all clusters have been activated. The Government has triggered Joint Needs Assessments in less than 24 hours and facilitated permission for NGOs to provide humanitarian support to the affected population. Findings of the Joint Needs Assessments will be presented on 26 May. All clusters and sub-clusters under UNICEF lead or co-lead (WASH, Nutrition, Child Protection and Education) are involved in the assessments and will contribute to a Joint Response Plan to be developed within the next few days.

UNICEF's response
UNICEF, in close collaboration with local government will cover the needs of 100,000 people with stocks pre-positioned for WASH, nutrition, health and child protection. As part of preparedness measures in place, field offices in Chittagong, Barisal and Kulna also have partnership cooperation agreements with multiple NGOs which can respond to the situation if necessary.



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