Cyclone Roanu impacts Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

As the heaviest rains in a quarter of a century battered Sri Lanka this week, Cyclone Roanu then barreled into the Bangladesh coastline leaving a wake of devastation, including deaths and the forced evacuation of over 500,000 there. Oxfam is on the ground responding. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

After torrential rains sent landslides cascading over three villages in Sri Lanka on May 18th, Cyclone Roanu gathered steam as it moved along the east coast of India, then hit Bangladesh hard. Over 500,000 people in Bangladesh have had to evacuate their homes due to floods, landslides, and torrential rains.  In Sri Lanka, over 425,000 people were affected. Oxfam is responding in both countries.

The government of Bangladesh acted promptly to evacuate over 500,000 people ahead of landfall in the country's coastal districts. However, people's homes have been damaged or destroyed, their livestock lost, and crops devastated.

Oxfam already has teams in the area distributing portable toilets and essential hygiene kits to affected families. We have reached so far almost 7000 people with hygiene kits and temporary latrines. Oxfam is also setting up "cash for work" schemes to assist the thousands of families who are dependent on agriculture and daily wages. 

Oxfam's Sri Lanka Country Director reports that "People in landslide prone areas will have to stay in camps until their villages are safe. Some will have to be resettled. Children, women and the poor will face many challenges. We will work closely with the Government to assist them."

As the situation progresses, we will be updating this page accordingly.

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Last updated May 25, 2016

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