Cyclone Sidr killed 15,000 in Bangladesh, according to estimates
This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.
Tropical Cyclone Sidr was one of the worst natural disasters to hit Bangladesh. The storm made landfall in the country on Nov. 15, 2007, prompting large-scale evacuations.
With Sidr, Bangladesh was hammered by peak 1-minute sustained winds of 260 km/h (160 m.p.h.), making it a Category-5 equivalent tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
Coastal districts of Bangladesh faced soaking rains ahead of the actual impact of the cyclone. While the storm surge reached a height of three metres (9.8 feet) most places, the larger cities of Patuakhali, Barguna and Jhalokati District experienced a surge exceeding five metres (16 ft).
Since the storm surge is most deadly and destructive along coastal areas, it triggered panic in the massive fishing community. More than 3,000 fishermen were reported missing from 500 fishing boats. The local agricultural industry was also devastated, as many rice crops were totally wiped out. The total dollar losses reached an equivalent to US$2.31 billion.
Much of the capital city of Dhaka was wrecked by the severe winds and flooding. Electricity and water service were cut and the storm flattened the country's signature tin shacks, as well as larger houses. There was also a human cost and that was far more tragic. At least 3,447 deaths have been blamed directly on the storm, with some estimates reaching 15,000.
An aerial view of damage to villages and infrastructure following Cyclone Sidr, which swept into southern Bangladesh on Nov. 15. Photo: U.S. Navy.
On today's podcast, Chris Mei discusses the power of Sidr and the tremendous impacts it had on Bangladesh and the aftermath from the devastating cyclone.
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