Nargis passes away | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 05, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 05, 2008

Editorial

Nargis passes away

Leaves a mixed feeling of relief and sorrow

Bangladesh's sense of relief at the passage of Nargis away from its coastal line is as profound as its sorrow at the devastating sweep of Myanmar has been overwhelming. When the eye of the developing cyclonic storm was scowling, as it were, at the bumper boro harvest we were reaping in our land, an impending sense of loss was pervading our consciousness. The worst kind of premonition set in. Thank stars, however, we have been spared another bout of calamity. Nevertheless, much as we take heart in the providential escape from a cyclone that remained unpredictable till the very end as to its final direction, we cannot but feel deeply concerned over the trails of damages left across Myanmar, especially Yangon, its capital.
Bangladesh and Myanmar are located in a vulnerable cyclonic zone, let alone sharing the same tectonic plate, with the funnel-like Bay fronting out being a conduit through which a cyclonic storm building afar rushes overland with a devastating effect.
The overarching contemporary fact of life in the planet is the climate change that has altered the behaviour of natural phenomena like cyclones and Tsunami. This is evidenced by the way Nargis itself behaved. After nearly a dreadful week of build-up 1200-1800 kilometer away from the coastal belts of Bangladesh and Myanmar, cyclone Nargis shifted its direction at least thrice from its original southwestern location. It moved to northerly, north-easterly and easterly directions making the landfall around the mouth of Irrawaddy river on Friday evening before hitting the economic hub on Saturday morning. In terms of stationary duration, slow movement, frequent change of direction and gathering of momentum, Nargis is worth researching on as a new bench mark.
All of these point to the need for regional cooperation in South and Southeast Asia to facilitate a better understanding of the natural disaster phenomena.
Our heart goes out in sympathy for the cyclone victims in Yangon and Bangladesh government could think of contributing to relief effort, if need be in that country.

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