Dhaka, Nov 10: Cyclone Bulbul was likely to cross the Sundarbans in Satkhira along the Bangladesh-India border on Saturday midnight with a wind speed between 100 and 120 kmph. Many places, including the capital, received rain throughout the day.
Cyclone Bulbul was approaching the Sundarbans coast from the Bay of Bengal, according to Bangladesh Meteorological Department.
The sea was rough under the influence of the cyclone since yesterday morning. At least 150 fishermen in Bhola, Barguna and Patuakhali were missing till last night.
Around 51 fishermen from Bamna and Barguna Sadar upazilas district had gone to the sea to catch fish five days ago, said leaders of Barguna trawlers owner’s association. A total of 19 lakh people were evacuated to more than 5,500 cyclone centres from the most vulnerable districts, including Satkhira, Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagerhat, and Khulna, said State Minister for disaster management and relief Md Enamur Rahman. More than 55,000 volunteers were working for the evacuation in the costal districts.
A non-government organisation (NGO) official said that the volunteers, using megaphones, had been requesting people to move to the cyclone centres since morning, but there were many people who refused to leave. Tarok Biswas, who lives in Pankhali village of Khulna’s Dacope upazila, said, "I can’t leave my home. All our cattle would be stolen. My family will go, I will stay."
Besides, more than 30,000 people took shelter in different chars and shoals in offshore areas of Patuakhali, Barguna and Bagerhat, said district administration sources. On St Martin’s Island, over 1,000 tourists, including students of Rajshahi University’s journalism department, are being stuck. Talking to reporters, around 7:45hour, Ayesha Khatun, deputy director of the Dhaka Met office, said the cyclone might hit the coasts during high tide and trigger tidal surges 5 to 7 feet higher than the usual ones, inundating low lying areas in the coastal region.
Asked about the severity of the cyclone, she said," Cyclone Bulbul might be powerful than Cyclone Aila but weaker than Super Cyclone Sider."
Meanwhile, the maritime ports of Mongla and Payra were advised to keep hoisted great danger signal number 10. It means the port may experience severe storm of great intensity with wind speeds of 89km hour or more. It may cross over or near the port. The signal would be applicable to the coastal areas of Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars, according to the met office.
The maritime port in Chattogram was advised to keep hoisted great danger signal number 9. It means the port may experience severe storm of great intensity that is expected to cross the coast to the north of the port of Chattogram or Cox’s Bazar. Great danger signal number 9 was also for coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars.
The maritime port of Cox’s Bazar was advised to keep hoisted local warning signal number four. All the fishing boats were asked to remain moored until the further notice. Bangladesh Government preparations Disaster Management Senior Secretary Md Shah Kamal said Army Troops and members of the Coast Guards were called in to supplement the cyclone preparedness initiatives, alongside Red Crescent volunteers and members of government agencies, including police. The evacuation drive was underway in 14 districts -Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira, Chattogram, Noakhali, Feni, Laxmipur and Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars.
In most vulnerable areas, including chars, we are trying to help people move out along with their valuables and cattle, he said. Kamal added , "The evacuees are being provided with dry food, while we have enough stock of relief materials for them. Nearly 1,600 medical teams were ready to treat the cyclone victims."
The ISPR, meanwhile, said the navy prepared two warships equipped with medical facilities and relief materials to launch rescue drives. State Minister Md Enamur Rahman said Army troops were ready as part of the government preparedness for the cyclone. We have adequate stock of food the local administration, army troops and volunteers are ready to face the cyclone impact, he said. UNI