Amphan aftermath: A trail of devastation in Khulna’s Koyra upazila

The Daily Star May 24, 2020

Anyone may be surprised to see several hundred green mangos scattered on the ground. Some covered in mud, some partially damaged.

Hit hard by worries, owner of the mango orchard with the help of his associates was collecting his prized produce one by one.

“The cyclone has ravaged my mango orchard. I have to incur a loss of around Tk 2.5 lakh as most of the mangoes have been damaged,” said Horinath Sen, owner of the orchard located at Magura village under Koyra upazila in Khulna district.

He was talking to the local correspondent on Saturday, two days ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr when most people are rushing to buy daily essentials.

But this year’s Eid celebration might be subdued in this area as the recent Cyclone Amphan has devastated them. This, on top of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

While visiting the area on Saturday, it was noticed the cyclone has left marks of its fury at every corner of the upazila.

Water level of nearby Paikgacha upazila has seen a significant rise. So, vast areas of Amadi and Bangali unions have gone under water.

“Normally, the areas were used as farmland, playground, grazing land for cattle. But now, they are submerged. We don’t know when the water will recede,” said Md Shahidul Islam, a local.

Over half of the 9km road, stretching from Koyra upazila headquarters to Nowabaki area, has gone under waist-deep water.

Villagers, who live near the road, were moving their household items from their homes to dry places.

Many had already set up makeshift huts on dry places around the road. Cattle were kept in safe places beside them.

The river protection dam has broken at 19 points in the area. As a result, water has entered the locality — inundating multiple villages.

Talking to the correspondent, 72-year-old Ruhul Kuddus Sheikh, a resident of Harinkhola area, said he used to be solvent, but nature’s fury has turned him homeless.

“I had 20 bigha of land. But all of my land has been eroded by river. I have moved five times. My last house too has been damaged, due to Amphan,” he added.

Around 2 lakh people of the area have been affected by the cyclone Amphan, according to government officials.

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