AFTER THE DISASTER
Text & Photography:
Tariqul Islam and Shakoor Majid
On July 28, 2005, when our engine boat anchored at the Tengra Bazaar, it was a bright and sunny day and the flame of devastating gas wells had dropped down from 500 ft to 3-4 ft in 15 days. Anxious and left homeless, the poor victims of the gas field area curiously looked at us trudging along with four still and video cameras. We had come to the scene of the disaster to capture, with our cameras, the devastating effects on the surrounding area.
Though the fire came back close to the ground, the trauma is still palpable among the residents of Tangratila. The raging flame billowing out of the gas field is spread out within a radius of 4 kilometers. The fire has affected 20,000 people living within 10 square km of the gas field. Eruption of sands like lava have destroyed their crops and crop fields, fish, cattle and trees. Bubbling gas in the muddy soil has destroyed the source of pure drinking water and people are still afraid to light their stoves for cooking fearing this might ignite fresh fires. They are inhaling poisonous gas. Besides the human misery it has caused, the fire has burnt scores of trees, forced thousands of migratory birds to fly out and destroyed habitats of local bird species in a vast area.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005