Nearly 5,000 trees worth over Tk 5 million and infrastructures worth another Tk 6 million were as Cyclone Bulbul cut its path through the Sundarban's in the early hours of Nov 10, says the forest department.
Large trees at Dublarchar and adjacent areas of Rivers Arpangashia and Shibsha were uprooted as the world largest mangrove forest took a blow of the severe cyclonic storm.
Some of the flora of the World Heritage Site was partially destroyed while a few number of its fauna perished.
About one tenth of the 100,000 plus hectares of forest area of the world heritage site, the Sundarbans, has been damaged by Cyclone Bulbul, according to a primary assessment of the forest department.
The updated government estimate puts the death toll at two while over 50 injured in Khulna region.
The west-south part of the world’s biggest single unit of mangrove forest sustained the main blow of the cyclone, saving human lives by slowing down the nature’s wrath.
The forest department however has got a total picture of the damage inflicted upon the wildlife of the forest that provides livelihood for more than 100,000 people.
Till now, the department has found no evidence of death of any Bengal Tiger or Deer.
At least 4,589 trees were uprooted worth about Tk 5.04 million of the forest has been damaged completely, while different infrastructures including station jetty and watch tower have been damaged worth around Tk 62.85 lakh [Tk 6.29 million],” said Md Moinuddin Khan, conservator of forest of Khulna Region.
He said, “We have completed our primary assessment. Mostly Sundari, Geoa, Goran and Keora were damaged in the west side forest while Raintree, Babla, Mehogini and Arzun were damaged in the east side of the Sundarbans.
“Most of our officers visited the Sundarbans after the cyclone. They witnessed Bulbul damaged a far less than of cyclonic Sidr and Aila,” he added.
“Instead of a massive 10-15-feet surge, the tidal wave was smaller. That’s why we believe the wildlife of the forest has largely escaped the wrath of the cyclone,” he said.
“It was initially thought that there would be a tidal surge of 10 to 15 feet height inside the Sundarbans. Since that did not happen, the forest will be able to recover itself soon,” he added.
On Nov 10, cyclonic Bulbul crossed Bangladesh with a wind speed of 70 to 100 km per hour. At least 9,455 houses were totally damaged and 37,820 were partially damaged in Sundarbans coastal belt.