The eastern Sundarbans were severely damaged by the tidal waves and strong winds of Cyclone Yaas, causing a loss of at least Tk60 lakh.
The five to six foot high storm surge damaged several ships, watchtowers, roundhouses in the forest, roads and foot rails. At least four deer were reported to have drowned in tidal waters.
The rivers and canals adjacent to the forest have been rising since the onset of cyclone Yaas. The tidal waters damaged 19 jetties, six vessels (trawlers), two roundhouses, a foot rail, a watchtower, four staff barracks and a rest house in the eastern Sundarbans, confirmed Mohammad Belayet Hossain, divisional forest officer of the Sundarbans East Forest Department.
Tin sheds of at least ten offices have been blown away. Saltwater has entered nine ponds in the Sundarbans known to be a source of potable water. Two crocodile sheds at the Karamjal Wildlife Breeding Centre in the Sundarbans have been damaged, but no animals have been harmed.
Azad Kabir, officer-in-charge of the Karamjal Wildlife Breeding Centre, said two crocodile sheds were destroyed in the tidal water with strong winds. But no animal in the centre was harmed as they moved the animals to a safe place as soon as the water level started rising.
Md Joynal Abedin, an assistant forests conservator of Sharankhola Range, said the tidal water has flooded almost all the forest. Four dead deer were found in Rajeshwar, Uttar Tafalbari, Dubla, and Kachikhali, of the Sundarbans.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Save the Sundarbans Foundation, Sheikh Faridul Islam, said, "So far we have come to know that five deer died. Considering the strength of the cyclone it is highly likely that more animals may have died. In this situation, practical steps need to be taken to protect the Sundarbans. Ponds should be dug to provide potable water for wildlife. Arrangements should be made for the wildlife to stay on high ground by the ponds.