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New Cyclone Shelter Wraps Up Sea Angel Commemoration (September 7, 2011)

New Cyclone Shelter Wraps Up Sea Angel Commemoration (September 7, 2011)

Dhaka, September 7 – From September 7-28, elements of the U.S. Third Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) will work side by side with Bangladesh Armed Forces Division (AFD) to build a Multi-Purpose Cyclone Shelter (MPCS) in Chittagong. In a continuous effort to strengthen disaster preparedness in Bangladesh, members of the two militaries will complete the construction of the shelter initiated in May 2011 as part of the Sea Angel commemoration marking 20 years of collaboration in disaster relief between Bangladesh and the United States.

Thanks to close cooperation and collaboration of the Bangladesh Armed Forces and United States Armed Forces after the devastating cyclone in May 1991, Operation Sea Angel saved thousands of lives. U.S. and Bangladeshi service members united under a common goal, to relieve suffering after the devastating cyclone, and overcame extraordinary logistical challenges to reach the people and areas so severely affected. Twenty years later, during the Sea Angel commemoration ceremony in May 2011, U.S. Ambassador James Moriarty noted that over the past two decades joint efforts like this one have lead to the strong partnership between Bangladesh and the United States we enjoy today.

The U.S. Government has funded over 40 Multi-Purpose Cyclone Shelters, built since 2008 in Chittagong, Khulna, Barisal and Rajshahi districts at a total cost of $10 million. Each shelter can accommodate between 1,200-1,500 people in the event of an emergency. During a natural disaster, those seeking protection will have access to solar power emergency lights and a water catchment system. When not needed as a shelter, the MPCS will serve as a schoolhouse for 120 children furnished with desks, chairs, chalk boards, lights and ceiling fans.