Can grains of the past help us weather storms of the future?
Odisha, Feb 9: In May 2009, Cyclone Aila wreaked havoc in eastern India. Clocking in at speeds of over 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph), Aila hit the Sundarbans, the largest continuous block of mangrove forest in the world, located in the Ganga-Brahmaputra tidal delta on the Bay of Bengal.
The storm killed hundreds of people and livestock, damaged close to a million houses, and washed away roads. Heavy winds and high waves breached the mud embankments that protected the islands. This brought in a deluge of salt water from the Bay of Bengal, flooding villages, turning drinking water brackish and affecting nearly 125,000 hectares (309,000 acres) of cropland.