• Thursday, Nov 21, 2019
  • Last Update : 10:19 pm

Met office: Fears of major disasters gone

  • Published at 11:48 am May 4th, 2019
A 100-metre stretch of coastal embankment collapsed into the Meghna River after tides swelled due to the approach of cyclone Fani in Kamalnagar, Lakshmipur on Friday afternoon Focus Bangla

The country however will continue experiencing thundershowers and rain, accompanied by gusts and squalls, for the next 5-6 hours

The chances of major disasters because of severe cyclone Fani has lessened, as it continues to move further inland, Director of Bangladesh Meteorological Department, Shamsuddin Ahmed, has said.

"There are no more fears of a major disaster," he said at a press conference held in the media centre of the Met office around 10am on Saturday. "All the people from the coastal regions have been taken to cyclone shelters, following Met office forecast. We have brought damages at a tolerant level."

He further said: "The wind speed is now normal. If the wind speed had been higher, then we would have feared major disasters."

However, since weather can be unpredictable, everyone has been warned to stay cautious, so that the damages do not increase, the director said.  

"Those who are currently staying at the shelters will be returned home as soon as the cyclone passes away," Shamsuddin added.

Talking about the current state of Fani, he said: "On Friday, the storm was coming towards Bangladesh at a speed of 20km/hr. The cyclone reached Jessore, Satkhira and Khulna regions around 6am on Saturday. 

"Currently, it is moving towards north-northeastwards, crossing Chuadanga, Rajbari, Manikganj and Dhaka," he said. "The speed has increased negligibly."

The storm will cross Sylhet and Mymensingh region, and finally move towards Meghalaya in India, leaving Bangladesh. These areas, alongside Rajshahi and Rangpur regions, will feel the impact of the storm, with rain and thundershowers, the director said.

Maximum sustained wind speed 54km within the centre of the storm is 62km/hr, rising to 88km/hr with gusts and squalls. 

The whole country is experiencing moderate to heavy rain. Chandpur has been experiencing 127mm of rainfall, while Barisal experienced gusts with wind speed of 74km/hr, around 6am Saturday.

This situation will prevail for another five to six hours, Shamsuddin observed. The sky might start clearing by 5pm Sunday.

Replying to a query, the Met office director said there are still slight chances of a tidal wave. "Until the cyclone reaches low pressure, we cannot confirm it, as tidal waves may occur during tide-and-ebb due to a cyclonic storm."

The maritime ports of Mongla, Payra, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar have been directed to keep the same danger signal as previously hoisted. 

Meanwhile, meteorologist Arif Hossain, from the Met department, told Dhaka Tribune: "We are hopeful that after Saturday afternoon, we can lower the danger signal no in the maritime ports, as the storm will pass over Dhaka, Gazipur and Tangail, north-northeastwards to Netrokona and Mymensingh, and move on to Meghalaya in India, leaving Bangladesh."