Lean On Me
OK, this weathered cyclone shelter in Rangabali, Bangladesh isn’t really leaning but Flickr member Lindsay Bremner‘s photo from March of 2011 does impart a dramatic “spin” to the subject. Rangabali is in the Sundarbans region, very close to the Indian Ocean coastline, and no doubt this cyclone shelter has served local residents and their livestock well over the course of numerous storms.
Yes, livestock – the standard cyclone shelter design allows for a raised open ground-floor area. Shaded by the upper floors, cattle and goats can stay safe until the heaviest rains and strongest winds have died down. People take shelter on the second level and, if flooding has occurred, they can ascend to the flat open rooftop. The cyclone shelter above was photographed in early June of 2009 by Flickr member Shawn, just after the passing of devastating tropical Cyclone Aila. This video visually and viscerally describes the benefits of having a local cyclone shelter, yet bemoans the fact that one is often not nearly enough.
Though cyclones are a seasonal phenomena, so are monsoon rains and the flooding they often bring. Cyclone shelters are available year-round, offering literal “shelter from the storm” no matter if said storm has a name or not. The photo above, posted by Flickr member DFID – UK Department for International Development in September of 2009, was taken nearly four months after Cyclone Aila struck southern Bangladesh and northeastern India.
The Swing of Things
Year after year and season after season, life goes on in the cyclone-struck regions surrounding the Bay of Bengal. Although devastating storms aren’t everyday events, it’s good to know your friendly neighborhood cyclone shelter remains ready and waiting to answer the bell. That’s surely reassuring to these Bangladeshi kids who can make play while the sun shines… and make for the cyclone shelter when it doesn’t.
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