The full picture of the trail of destruction left by Cyclone Mora is beginning to emerge, after the storm made landfall on Tuesday in Bangladesh's southeast, leaving millions of children's future at stake, according to the preliminary estimates of Save the Children.
Early estimates reveal that more than 2.8 million people have been affected, including 1.1 million children, concentrated largely around Cox's Bazar and coastal districts. However, emergency assessments are still being carried out and numbers could rise further.
There are also reports of significant damage in makeshift settlements housing Rohingya refugees, said a media release of Save the Children in Bangladesh.
"The damage and destruction left by the storm is immense, with trees uprooted, homes and crops destroyed, roads and telecommunications interrupted and a large number of schools damaged," said Save the Children Country Director Mark Pierce.
"We know that a lot of the poorer communities in low-lying areas or where housing is very basic have been heavily impacted, especially those whose homes are made largely from corrugated iron. Mora has had a particularly severe impact because of its strong winds, gusting at up to 128km/h, and a heavy rainfall, which also makes the humanitarian response more difficult," he said.
"We're particularly concerned about the impact the storm has had on children, both within the Rohingya refugee settlements and outside. Not only is experiencing a storm like this extremely frightening for children, but there are reports of significant damage to a large number of schools which could see these children missing out on vital education too," Pierce said.
Save the Children teams are currently assessing the needs in the worst affected areas and stand ready to respond, including by distributing hygiene items like jerry cans, soaps and water purification tablets to prevent the spread of disease, as well as supporting damaged schools to reopen and distributing plastic sheeting for temporary shelter.