Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Major cyclones in the history of Bangladesh

Measures being taken to avoid loss of life from the calamity, says the government

Update : 24 May 2021, 03:11 PM

As the country’s braces for the landfall of Cyclone Yaas, which is now brewing over the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh will witness another natural calamity that might cause havoc on human lives and infrastructures along the coastal belt.

In a special bulletin on Monday morning, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) said the cyclonic storm gained 62 plus wind speed within 54 km of the cyclone center.

The maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra have been advised to hoist distant warning signal No. 2.

Gearing up its defences to mitigate the losses from the calamity,  the government said measures were being taken to avoid loss of lives from the upcoming cyclone looming over the bay.

"We have already started taking adequate precautionary measures [to face the cyclone]. We will remain cautious, we will be able to reduce risks," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Sunday while urging everyone to remain alert.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Md Enamur Rahman told the media on Sunday that additional cyclone shelters were being prepared in compliance with health guidelines keeping in mind the coronavirus situation.

He said that the government aims to bring all the people in need of shelters to the cyclone centres in an attempt to keep the mortality rate at zero if the cyclone hits Bangladesh.

Bangladesh’s relation with heavy storms from the Bay of Bengal has left a trail of death and destruction over the years. Here are 12 major cyclones from the past-

Bhola Cyclone (November 11, 1970) claimed the lives of at least 300,000 people in the low-lying region near the Bangladesh coast. This is the deadliest known tropical cyclone in the history of Bangladesh.

The April 1991 Cyclone was a powerful tropical cyclone that struck the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh on April 29, 1991. At least 138,000 people were killed by the cyclone. It caused a damage of around $1.5 billion.

Barisal Cyclone (May 11, 1965) took lives of at least 19,279 people after it hit the coastal areas. Out of the casualties, 16,456 were in Barisal. The cyclone hit with a wind speed of about 160 km per hour associated with storm surge of 3.7-7.6 metre.

The December 1965 Cyclone hit the country on December 15 with a wind speed of about 217 km per hour and 2.3-3.6 metre storm surges. It claimed the lives of 873 people.

The October 1966 Cyclone hit the coastal area on October 1 with a wind speed of about 139 km per hour associated with storm surges of 6-7 metre. About 850 people died in the cyclone.

Urir Char Cyclone (May 25, 1985) was a severe cyclone that hit the country with a wind speed of 154 km per hour and 3.0-4.6 metre storm surges. At least 11,069 people were killed and 94,379 houses were damaged.

Cyclone 04B (November 30, 1988) came as a severe cyclonic storm on the coastal areas with a wind speed of 162 km per hour accompanied by a storm surge of 4.5 metre. At least 5,708 people died in the storm.

May 1997 Cyclone crashed with a wind speed of about 230 km per hour lashed the coastal line on May 19, 1997 killing 155 people.

Cyclone Sidr (November 15, 2007) lashed on the country’s coastal belt with a wind speed of 223 km per hour that claimed the lives of 3,363 people.

Cyclone Aila (May 25, 2009) hit offshore 15 districts of southwestern part of Bangladesh with wind speed of 120 km per hour. About 150 persons were killed and 200,000 houses were damaged in the storm.

Cyclone Mahasen (May 16, 2013) hit near Chittagong with a wind speed of 85 km per hour. It caused death of 17 people.

Cyclone Roanu (May 21, 2016) made landfall near Chittagong killing 26 people. Around 40,000 houses were damaged in the storm.

Cyclone Fani ( May 4, 2019) damaged crops on 63,063 hectares of land.

Cyclone Bulbul (November 9, 2019) hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh affecting some 2,89,006 hectares of land while crops in 22,836 hectares were damaged.

Cyclone Amphan (May 20, 2020) was an extremely severe cyclonic storm that took lives of at least 31 people and destroyed at least 1,76,007 hectare agricultural land in 17 coastal districts. It also totally or partially damaged 83,560 establishments in Khulna.

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