Sundarbans bears the brunt of Hurricane Sidr

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Dhaka, Nov 17 (UNI) Environmentalists apprehend huge loss to the flora and fauna of Sundarbans as hurricane Sidr lashed the world's largest mangrove forest in Bangladesh.

The super cyclone, with a ferocious wind speed of over 250 kmph, hit the eastern parts of the forest Thursday night leaving a trail of severe devastation.

The uprooted trees and destroyed houses on the edge of the forest were reminders of the devastation brought by the cyclone of 1988.

In 1988, according to official records, nine tigers and several hundred deer perished when a six feet high tidal surge accompanied by 160 kmph wind hit the Sundarbans.

Experts have feared that the damage done to the forest by Sidr with its seven feet high tidal surge might be worse than before.

The Sundarbans bore the major brunt of the hurricane, reducing the impact of it on the adjacent localities.

Country representative of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), Ainun Nishat, said much of the wildlife of the natural heritage site might have been washed away by the tidal surge.

''Many wildlife, including, tigers, deer, crocodiles, wild boars, king cobras, and monkeys, might have been washed away and persished under the weight of uprooted trees,'' Daily Star quoted him as saying.

The forest officials were not able to enter the area in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane.

In recent times more than 400 tigers and hundreds of deer were spotted in the Sundarbans, according to official figures of the forest department.

UNI

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