Bangladesh often suffers from many climate induced disasters such as flood, drought, and cyclone. Among those natural hazards, cyclone is a tropical storm or atmospheric instability involving circular motion of winds, occurs in Bangladesh almost every year. About one tenth of the global tropical cyclone occurs in the Bay of Bengal. 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.

On the morning of November 15, the cyclone intensified to reach peak winds of 215 km/h (135 mph) according to the IMD, and a peak of 250 km/h (155 mph) according to the JTWC. SIDR officially made landfall around 1700 UTC later that day, with sustained winds of 215 km/h (135 mph). It weakened quickly after landfall and the final advisories were issued early on November 16.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. At least 3,447 deaths have been reported. The entire cities of Patuakhali, Barguna and Jhalokati District were hit hard by the storm surge of over 5 meters (16 ft). 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. Electricity and water service were cut and significant damage was reported there due to winds and flooding. The local agricultural industry was also devastated, as many rice crops - which have a December harvest - were lost. Initial assessment of damage is come close to $450 million.

Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal Because of the funnel shaped coast of the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh very often becomes the landing ground of cyclones formed in the Bay of Bengal. The Bay cyclones also move towards the eastern coast of India, towards Myanmar and occasionally into Sri Lanka. But they cause the maximum damage when they come into Bangladesh, west Bengal and Orissa of India. 

This is because of the low flat terrain, high density of population and poorly built houses. Most of the damage occurs in the coastal regions of Khulna, Patuakhali, Barisal, Noakhali and Chittagong and the offshore islands of Bhola, Hatiya, Sandwip, Manpura, Kutubdia, Maheshkhali, Nijhum Dwip, Urir Char and other newly formed islands. From 1981 to 1985, 174 severe cyclones (with wind speeds of more than 54 km/hr) formed in the Bay of Bengal. The month-wise occurrence is as follows: 1 in January, 1 in February, 1 in March, 9 in April, 32 in May, 6 in June, 8 in July, 4 in August, 14 in September, 31 in October, 47 in November and 20 in December. 

It is apparent from the above figures that severe cyclones occur mostly during pre-monsoon (April-May) and post-monsoon (September-December) periods and they are the ones which cause the most destruction.

A detailed list of historical records of tropical cyclones made landfall at the Bangladesh Coast is given in the appendix of this report (SMRC, 1991).

2.2. Characteristics of SIDR Cyclone
2.2.1 Introduction

Cyclone SIDR is the fourth named storm of the 2007 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. The storm formed in the central Bay of Bengal, and quickly strengthened to reach peak sustained winds of 215 km/h (135 mp/h), which would make it a Category-4 equivalent to tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The storm eventually made landfall near Bangladesh on November 15, 2007. As of January 20, 2008, about 3,447 deaths have been blamed on the storm.

On November 15, 2007, the SIDR cyclone hit the coast of south-west Bangladesh with winds of up to 240 km per hour. Since then, more than 8.9 million people had been directly affected by the cyclone which caused extensive damages to houses, water and sanitation infrastructures, harvests, food stocks and livelihoods, alsokilling livestock and destroying fishing material and other income generating assets. Cyclone Sidr and two preceding floods resulted in at least 4,400 deaths disrupting the lives of millions of people in some of the poorest and most vulnerable areas of the country.

Damaged roads made access to the affected areas almost impossible, and with the communications and utility services yet to be restored fully, aid workers and rescuers struggled to reach survivors in most of the affected areas. The government deployed naval ships, aircraft, and helicopters to reinforce the rescue and relief operation. Thousands of trained volunteers were active in the situation. Some 200,000 people living in the coastal zone were evacuated to safer places such as cyclone shelters, high-rise buildings and public and private houses. Over 70,000 families (approximate 350,000 people) have been assisted with relief food and non-food items; the distribution of oral rehydration salts (ORS) packets and health education (with special focus on usage of ORS). Please note that interim financial report reflects income up to end March 2007. Click here to access the live donors’ response list and, hygiene practices in all 13 districts is completed. A post-relief distribution assessment will be carried out to evaluate further needs for relief intervention and monitoring the impact of the relief items distributed so far. This will be done as a complement during the transition to recovery phase, while affected community are struggling to restore their usual livelihood practices. However, the operation is fully focused on early recovery activities. Implementation of the shelter project has taken place. Priority will be given to increasing the human resource capacity of the shelter team, selecting communities to work with and assessing shelter needs within and finalizing beneficiary lists. Priority will be given to the selection of communities, an assessment of shelter needs and the finalization of beneficiary lists. A main priority includes increasing the human resources’ capacity of the Shelter team.

External linkages with main stakeholders have been initiated, mostly in the area of agriculture and livelihoods with United Nations agencies such as the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who are leading the livelihood and agriculture national working groups, as well as major donors such as the Swiss development cooperation. Information on cash transfer and selection have been shared and integrated in the BDRCS/IFRC strategy. Progress has been achieved towards the implementation of the water and sanitation project. During this reporting period, the main focus has been on providing the community access to clean water. Field surveys have identified over 136 community-based water systems (arsenic-free tube wells) that require maintenance. Contractors have been selected and work has commenced in Patuakhali, Bagerhat and Pirojpur to restore all water systems.

With the arrival of the psychosocial support program (PSP) delegate various meetings has been held at the field level on the implementation of the psychosocial support activities in the communities. A draft program proposal and budget in collaboration with BDRCS have been made which is pending finalization and approval. Since the launch of the Appeal, international response has been positive. However, there is still a need for further contributions to enable BDRCS/Federation to deliver the planned assistance as laid out in this Appeal. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have contributed or pledged to this Appeal.