Freak Tide Submerges Bangladeshi Community
Aug. 31, 2000 -- A freak high tide submerged an entire island community off the coast of Bangladesh beneath 6 feet of sea water for nearly three hours on Wednesday. Nearly 10,000 people on Sandwip Island were forced to rush to cyclone shelters as the water gushed into their homes.
Golam Rabbani, a disaster management official, reported that the victims, who were mostly fishermen, moved to the shelters built on higher ground. Although the tide began to recede after three hours, a flood protection embankment constructed around the island prevented the water from flowing back out.
The country's meteorological office reported that the unusually high tide had been triggered by a depression over the Bay of Bengal that caused the sea to rise. The area is located off the coast of southeast Bangladesh near the city of Chittagong.