Two Hours in Jaliakhali
Jaliakhali was badly affected by Cyclone Aila in 2009, and this footage (shot approximately 18 months after the cyclone hit) shows how the area had still not recovered from this extreme weather event. While the tidal patterns themselves are unchanged, with the embankment damaged by Aila, the village now floods with every high tide, illustrating the vulnerability that coastal and riverine communities are forced to live with. Most of the homes, temples, and schools have been destroyed. The local bazaar disappeared, too. Constant flooding has made the soil infertile. Most of the villagers now live in makeshift shelters on what little areas of raised ground remain, and unemployment and lack of food are becoming major problems for residents.
The residents of this village who have been forced to migrate join millions of others around the world, displaced from their homes and land by declining environmental conditions. There are now more people displaced by climate-related natural hazards each year than there are refugees fleeing persecution or conflict. The numbers will increase as the negative impacts of climate change become increasingly apparent with extreme weather events including hurricanes and cyclones becoming more dangerous, flooding and drought becoming more frequent and longer-lasting, and sea levels rising.