It felt like something out of a movie. I was in a car on the way home – it was fifteen minutes to midnight. There wasn’t a soul on the street and the only sounds you could hear were the rain beating down on the streets, the noise of the wind, and the car’s engine. It was pitch black too – every home, apartment, and building as far as the eye could see had no electricity. Then – all of a sudden – a blinding bright light and a roar erupts right next to the car – just outside of my side of the car. My window then gets showered in glowing sparks.
I wasn’t in any danger – it was just a transformer exploding. But, for the first time in this whole time in Bangladesh – I was scared…
I’m writing this on my battery’s laptop power. The glow of the screen is the only thing that is lighting up this room. Now, this isn’t the first time there’s been a blackout – but this time it’s different. This isn’t the first time its rained – but this it’s different. It’s different because, this time it’s caused by Cyclone Sidr. It hit the coats of Bangladesh at approximately 6 pm local time and hasn’t stopped.
The good news… well… ummm… the good news for me at least – is that I’m pretty safe here in Dhaka. It’s just a nasty storm with heavy rain. Although, it’s heavy enough that the streets are getting water logged/flooded, things are getting really cold, and the winds are creating a widespread problem with the electrical grid. From the more modern areas where foreigners live (Gulshan) to old parts of the city (Shatinagar) – all have experienced or are experiencing blackouts tonight.
If this cyclone has this effect for people in the city, I can only imagine how things are on the coastline – where many of the rural poor live. BBC is reporting tidal waves of 3 meters in height with homes, schools, and trees just blown away. Many have been displaced and those who aren’t displaced have lives disrupted.
My latest episode on YouTube talks about being trapped in the cycle of poverty. It seems like even Mother Nature makes it hard for people to pull themselves out of the trap that is poverty.