Horrific 12 November today
Published: 10:58 AM, 12 November 2020 Updated: 02:58 PM, 12 November 2020
12 November 1970’s cyclones and tidal waves devasted the southern region which is considered the deadliest cyclone in the history; File Photo
The horrific 12 November, a nightmare for the coastal people, today. On this day in 1970, 50 years ago, the towns of the southern region were badly damaged by a catastrophic cyclone and tidal wave. The cyclone devastated 18 coastal districts including Pirojpur, Bagerhat, Bhola, Barishal, Noakhali, Barguna, Laxmipur and Patuakhali.
More than 1 million people lost their lives. Millions of cattle and poultry were washed away. The crops of the field are damaged and many plants are uprooted. At that moment, the whole coast was devastated. The sad memories of that day still haunt the minds of the coastal people.
On this day in 1970, the day of the horrific cyclone, it had been raining since morning. The squally wind with rain began. The coastal people still did not get at that time what was going to happen. In the late-night, the coastal districts were turned upside down by the catastrophic cyclone at a speed of about 222 kmph.
Listening to the weather forecast on radio and television during the cyclone was not as robust as the present time. There was not even a shelter. The locals think that even if there was a safe shelter, so many people would not have lost their lives.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman rushed to the helicopter to offer his condolences to the people of Monpura who were devastated by the cyclone. He expressed his condolences to the bereaved families. Later, he provided financial assistance from personal funds.
The United Nations declared the cyclone on November 12, 1970, in Bangladesh as the deadliest storm in the history of the world. On May 18 this year, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization released a list of the world’s top five deadliest weather events where the 70’s cyclone in Bangladesh was described as the deadliest in the history of the world.
It said that from the evening of 12 November 1970 to the morning of 13 November, the worst cyclone of all time hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh. According to the government, three to five lakh people lost their lives. However, the death toll in the private sector was more than one million.
According to various sources, about 200,000 people lost their lives in the ‘Bakerganj Cyclone’ in 1876. One lakh of them died due to famine and epidemic. In 1582, another cyclone was reported in Bakerganj, now Barisal where two lakh people lost their lives in that cyclone.
The cyclone of 29 April 1991 was one of the worst cyclones since 1970. It killed about 140,000 people. Besides, several small and big cyclones including Sidr on 15 November 2007, Nargis on 3 May 2008, Aila on 25 May 2009, Mahasen on 16 May 2013, Nilofar on 28 October 2014 and Roanu on 21 May 2016 hit the coastal areas, however, the severity of the 70’s cyclone could not surpass any other storm.