Cyclone Sidr
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Cyclone Sidr

Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Sidr
Extremely severe cyclonic storm (IMD scale)
Category 5 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Sidr 2007-11-14 Aqua.jpg
Cyclone Sidr in the Bay of Bengal near peak intensity
FormedNovember 11, 2007
DissipatedNovember 16, 2007
Highest winds3-minute sustained:
1-minute sustained:
Lowest pressure944 hPa (mbar); 27.88 inHg
Damage$450 million (2007 USD)
Areas affectedBangladesh, West Bengal, Northeast India
Part of the 2007 North Indian Ocean cyclone season

Cyclone Sidr (JTWC designation: 06B, also known as Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Sidr) was a tropical cyclone that resulted in one of the worst natural disasters in Bangladesh. The fourth named storm of the 2007 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, Sidr formed in the central Bay of Bengal, and quickly strengthened to reach peak 1-minute sustained winds of 260 km/h (160 mph), making it a Category-5 equivalent tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.[1] The storm eventually made landfall in Bangladesh on November 15, 2007, causing large-scale evacuations.[2] 3,447 deaths were blamed on the storm.[3]

Save the Children estimated the number of deaths associated with the cyclone to be between 5,000 and 10,000, while the Red Crescent Society reported on November 18 that the number of deaths could be up to 10,000.[4] International groups pledged US$95 million to repair the damage,[5] which was estimated at $1.7 billion (2007 USD).[5]

Meteorological history

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir-Simpson scale

On November 9, an area of disturbed weather developed southeast of the Andaman Islands, with a weak low-level circulation near the Nicobar Islands. Initially moderate upper-level wind shear inhibited organization, while strong diffluence aloft aided in developing convection.[6] Vertical shear decreased greatly as the circulation became better defined, and a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert was issued on November 11 while located a short distance south of the Andaman Islands.[7] Around the same time, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) designated the system as Depression BOB 09.[8] The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) upgraded it to Tropical Cyclone 06B after Dvorak estimates indicated winds of 65 km/h (40 mph).[9] Later that day, it intensified into a deep depression as it moved slowly north-westward.[10]

The IMD upgraded the system to Cyclonic Storm Sidr early on November 12.[11] The system then began to intensify quickly as it moved slowly northwestward, and the IMD upgraded it to a severe cyclonic storm later that day[12] and a very severe cyclonic storm early the next day.[13] On the morning of November 15, the cyclone intensified to reach peak winds of 215 km/h (135 mph) according to the IMD,[14] and a peak of 260 km/h (160 mph) according to the JTWC best track.[15] Sidr officially made landfall around 1700 UTC later that day,[16] with sustained winds of 215 km/h (135 mph).[17] It weakened quickly after landfall and the final advisories were issued early on November 16.[18]


Storm surge forecasted on November 14 by numerical model[19]

As it intensified to a Category 4-equivalent cyclone on November 15,[1] thousands of emergency officials were put on standby in eastern India and Bangladesh in advance of the storm's arrival. Forecast heights of the storm surge predicted by a numerical model developed by Dr. Hassan Mashriqui (Louisiana State University) was communicated to the emergency response authorities in Bangladesh,[19] prompting a massive evacuations of low-lying coastal areas.[20] A total of 2 million people in Bangladesh evacuated to emergency shelters.[21] The Indian Metrological Department (IMD) also issued a cyclone alert for Orissa and West Bengal on November 14. In Bangladesh, an emergency cabinet meeting decided to withdraw weekly leave for the government officials to join the evacuation process.[22] Over 40,000 Red Crescent volunteers were deployed to order residents in the 15 affected provinces into special cyclone and flood shelters.[21] The main ports had been closed.[23]


Cyclone Sidr making landfall in Bangladesh.

Coastal districts of Bangladesh faced heavy rainfall as an early impact of the cyclone. Dhaka and other parts of Bangladesh experienced drizzle and gusty winds. Total damages came close to $450 million.[22]

Storm surges reaching up to a height of 3 metres (9.8 ft) were reported in the coastal areas of north Chennai in southern state of Tamil Nadu in India, triggering panic among the fishing community.[24][25]

The damage in Bangladesh was extensive, including tin shacks flattened, houses and schools blown away and enormous tree damage. Some local officials have described the damage as being even worse than that from the 1991 cyclone.[26] The entire cities of Patuakhali, Barguna and Jhalokati District were hit hard by the storm surge of over 5 meters (16 ft).[27] About a quarter of the world heritage site Sunderbans were damaged. Researchers said mangrove forest Sunderban will take at least 40 years to recover itself from this catastrophe.[28] Much of the capital city of Dhaka was also severely affected, as electricity and water service were cut and significant damage was reported there due to winds and flooding.[29] The local agricultural industry was also devastated, as many rice crops -- which have a December harvest -- were lost.[30]

At least 3,447 deaths have been reported.[3] The hardest-hit area was Barguna, where 423 people were reported to have been killed, according to local officials. Patuakhali was also hard-hit, with 385 deaths reported.[29] Most of the deaths confirmed thus far were due to the winds, although 13 of them have been as a result of capsized boats in the Faridpur district of Bangladesh.[31] The head of the Red Crescent in Bangladesh expects the death toll to reach as high as 10,000.[32] Over 3,000 other fishermen were reported missing on over 500 fishing boats.[33]

Disaster response

Cyclone victims lining up for aid boats in Bangladesh
Map showing Sidr affected districts and disaster response.

Cyclone Sidr slammed the highly vulnerable low lying densely populated coastal areas of Bangladesh with heavy rain, winds of up to 120 miles/hr, and a storm surge. Sidr may be the strongest cyclone to hit the country since a cyclone killed over 143,000 Bangladeshis in 1991. Although, the death from Sidr number in the thousands but damage to homes, crops and livelihoods could be extensive and were reportedly worst. Effective early warning, cyclone shelters and disaster relief measure implementations helped reduce the death toll.[34] Under a Cyclone Preparedness Program, volunteers evacuated at least 600,000 Bangladeshis in the path of the storm. Many are housed in 1,800 multipurpose disaster shelters built along the coast. Relief organizations distributed seven-day emergency disaster kits of food, blankets and clothing for evacuated families.

Since 1991, the donor community, including the US and EC, has supported disaster-preparedness to mitigate the impact of tropical storms and improve post-disaster relief and reconstruction. Cyclone walls planted within trees are in place to protect vulnerable areas from storm surges. Disaster shelters on stilts housing refugees plus early warning systems and timely evacuations appear to have greatly reduced the fatalities from Sidr. It did kill around 15,000 people, the highest since a cyclone killed 140,000 in the region in 1991.[35][36]

With wind velocities of up to 260 km/h, Cyclone Sidr has been named one of the 10 strongest and deadliest cyclones to strike the region of Bangladesh between 1876 to 2010.[37]


Houses damaged by the cyclone.
Sundarbans a few months after Cyclone Sidr

National response

After the storm, 18 Bangladesh Air Force helicopters and five Bangladesh Navy ships were immediately dispatched with food, medicine, and relief supplies for the hardest-hit areas.[38] Bangladesh Red Crescent Society initially asked 400 million Taka (US$5,807,594) to the international community.[39] As part of the Bangladeshi cricket team's tour in New Zealand, a charity Twenty20 match was held with all funds raised going to the victims. In addition, the International Cricket Council donated US$250,000 to the funds at the start of the match.[40] The Ministry of Food and Disaster Management allocated 4,000 metric tonnes of rice, 7,500 tents, 18,000 blankets, and 30 million Taka (US$435,569) in relief grants. About 13,000 housing packages, consisting of iron sheets for roofing and family kits were prepared for immediate distribution. A special 350 million Taka (US$5,081,645) fund for housing was established by November 22, 2007. At that time, 732 medical teams were deployed to the affected areas.[41]

International response

International communities had expanded their hands towards Bangladesh on this disaster. Below is a contribution list.

Country / Institution Description Funding USD Uncommitted Pledges (in USD)
 Australia safe water, sanitation, foods, clothes, blankets 8,294 2,700,000
 Belgium rehabilitation of houses, agricultural support 3,097,157 0
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Humanitarian assistance 500,000 0
 Canada Health aid, non-food items, basic needs, foods, 3,700,000 0
Central emergency relief fund For protective health environment, support to reproductive health service, telecommunication support, nutrition supplement, 19,000,000 0
 China Relief and rehabilitation 0 1,500,000
 Denmark Humanitarian assistance 2,900,000 0
European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Emergency assistance, foods, shelter, latrines, Relief and rehabilitation 11,000,000 0
 Germany Foods, non-foods, 3,700,000 0
 India medicine, foods, tents, blankets 0 1,000,000
 Iran blankets, washing powder 1,300,000 0
 Italy Foods 6,400,000 0
 Japan Tents, blankets, sleeping mats, drinking water system, electricity generator 1,500,000 2,651,862
 KoreaRepublic of Foods,emergency relief 100,000 0
 Kuwait emergency assistance 10,000,000 0
 Netherlands Humanitarian assistance, goods, transports 9,500,000 0
 Norway water, sanitary, goods 4,000,000 0
 Saudi Arabia Cash donation directly 100,000,000 0
 Spain Foods, drinking water, tents, blankets, medicine 200,000 1,080,800
 Sweden Foods, sanitary, medicine, household 3,700,000 0
  Switzerland emergency assistance 1,200,000 0
 Thailand emergency and food assistance 1,000 tons of rice 0
 United Kingdom Foods, water, medicine 163,000 13,000,000
 United States Shelter, water, sanitation, medicine, hygiene, US Military Aid mission (USS Tarawa and USS Kearsarge) which remained in the cyclone affected area for a month. 3,159,353 0

Post-storm diseases

People of the cyclone affected area experienced severe health problems such as diseases like diarrhea, which spread due to shortage of drinking water.[42] The landfall of Sidr had followed the devastation caused by consecutive floods earlier in 2007.[43] By January 15, 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 44 people had Jaundice, 3,572 had Diarrhoea, 3,210 had Pneumonia, 7,538 were suffering from a skin disease, 2,309 had eye infections, and 10,349 had Typhoid Fever. To help reduce further spreading of the diseases, the Government of Norway provided the WHO with four water treatment plants to be used in areas affected by Sidr.[44]


The name Sidr was contributed by Oman; it is an Arabic name of a tree belonging to the genus Ziziphus, specifically the Ziziphus spina-christi. There is another saying that it is derived from the Sinhalese Language where "Sidr" means 'hole' or 'eye.[45]

See also


  1. ^ a b Ball, Steph (November 15, 2007). "Severe Cyclone Sidr hurtles towards Bangladesh by Steph Ball". BBC Weather. BBC World. Retrieved 2007.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Bangladesh cyclone toll climbs to 3,447 dead--official". Philippine Daily Inquirer. November 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  4. ^ Rahman, Pavel (November 19, 2007). "Cyclone Death Toll Up to 3,100 in Bangladesh, May Rise". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Bangladesh gets $95 mln W.Bank loan for post-cyclone aid". Reuters. July 6, 2008.
  6. ^ Charlie Forecast Team (2007). "November 9 Significant Tropical Weather Advisory for the Indian Ocean". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Retrieved 2007.
  7. ^ Joint Typhoon Warning Center (2007). "November 11 Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert". Retrieved 2007.
  8. ^ India Meteorological Department (2007). "Depression over Southeast Bay of Bengal". Archived from the original on November 11, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  9. ^ Joint Typhoon Warning Center (2007). "Tropical Cyclone 06B Warning NR 001". Retrieved 2007.
  10. ^ WebCite query result
  11. ^ WebCite query result
  12. ^ WebCite query result
  13. ^ WebCite query result
  14. ^ WebCite query result
  15. ^
  16. ^ WebCite query result
  17. ^ WebCite query result
  18. ^ WebCite query result
  19. ^ a b (in English) Paula Ouderm (December 6, 2007). "NOAA Researcher's Warning Helps Save Lives in Bangladesh". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2008.
  20. ^ "Cyclone forces Bangladesh evacuations". USA Today. November 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  21. ^ a b "Megaphones save thousands". IRIN News. November 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  22. ^ a b "SIDR starts pounding coastline". The Daily Star. November 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  23. ^ "Bangladesh put on cyclone alert". BBC NEWS. BBC World. November 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  24. ^ "High tidal waves in coastal areas of north Chennai". The Hindu. India. November 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  25. ^ "Rough tides wash away houses". The Hindu. India. November 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  26. ^ Pradhan, Bibhudatta; Aaron Sheldrick (November 16, 2007). "Cyclone Sidr Slams Into Bangladesh; 150 Die, AFP Says (Update3)". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2007.
  27. ^ "At least 500 killed in cyclone". CNN. CNN. November 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  28. ^ ManikJulfikar Ali Manik and Sharier Khan, Julfikar Ali; Sharier Khan (November 21, 2007). "Big blow to the Sundarbans:Sidr destroys a quarter of the heritage site; death toll crosses 3,000". The Daily Star. pp. Front page. Retrieved 2007.
  29. ^ a b "Bangladesh cyclone toll rises to 1,723". WAGA. November 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  30. ^ "Reports: 2,000 killed by cyclone". CNN. CNN. November 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  31. ^ "13 die as boats sink in Padma". Gulf Times. November 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  32. ^ "Up to 10,000 Dead After Bangladesh Cyclone". WBRC. Fox Television Stations Inc. November 18, 2007. Archived from the original on November 26, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  33. ^ "Nearly 600 killed, thousands missing in cyclone-hit Bangladesh". Press Times of India. November 16, 2007. Archived from the original on November 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Bangladesh: Improved Flood Response" (PDF). Humanitarian Information Unit, US Department of State. November 16, 2007. Retrieved 2008.
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Hundreds dead after cyclone rips through Bangladesh". Turkish Press. November 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  39. ^ " ? ?". Prothom Alo (in Bengali). Mahfuz Anam. November 19, 2007. pp. 1-17.
  40. ^ Cricinfo (December 23, 2007). "Bangladeshis pick up first tour win". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2008.
  41. ^ United Nations (November 22, 2007). "United Nations Rapid Initial Assessment Report (Final Report)" (PDF). ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2009.
  42. ^ Khan, Ashfaq Wares; Hasan, Rashidul; Hossain, Sohrab (November 21, 2007). "Acute Shortage of Drinking Water:Huge health crisis looms large". The Daily Star. The Daily Star (Bangladesh). pp. Front page.
  43. ^ Byron, Rejaul Karim (November 21, 2007). "Economy Sidr-struck:Call for more subsidy for ultra-poor, review of large budget by December". The Daily Star. The Daily Star (Bangladesh). pp. Front page.
  44. ^ "Public Health Situation in 9 Districts: (Since 27 December 2007 to 15 January 2008)" (PDF). World Health Organization. January 15, 2008. Retrieved 2009.
  45. ^ :The Daily Star: Internet Edition

External links

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