Along with preparing shelters and making post-disaster preparation, the government has also instructed all relevant departments to remain alert aiming to engage them right after the cyclone
Authorities in Bangladesh have taken all out preparation to minimize damages to people and property and to face the impending severe cyclonic storm Fani that may hit the land by this evening.
Along with preparing shelters and making post-disaster preparation, the government has also instructed all relevant departments to remain alert aiming to engage them right after the cyclone.
As the cyclonic storm intensifies near the coast, water transport services across the country have been suspended, while all holidays of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) officials and staff cancelled till the weather condition improves.
A total of 19 districts, including coastal districts of Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barisal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars, have been asked to hoist danger signal No 7, the Met Office said in a bulletin on Thursday.
The Met Office also asked to hoist danger signal No 7 for maritime ports of Mongla and Payra, No 6 in Chittagong port, and local warning signal No 4 in Cox’s Bazar.
According to the bulletin, coastal districts of Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barisal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira, Chittagong, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Feni, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars will also come under danger signal No 7.
Throughout Thursday, local administrations had made special announcements to spread awareness among people about the cyclone.
All ready to face the storm
The government has opened control rooms in the 19 coastal districts and prepared 4,071 shelter centres.
The concerned district administrations have been informed to stay alert where the storm may hit, said State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman.
Necessary control rooms have been opened in 19 coastal districts, and 56,000 volunteers are ready, he added.
Enamur also called upon the Red Crescent Society, Fire Service and Civil Defence, and nearby hospitals to stay prepared for the possible victims.
He asked the concerned authority to utilize schools, colleges and madrasa buildings as cyclone shelters, if needed.
As part of the preparations, 200 tons of rice, 41,000 packets dry food and Tk5 lakh have been sent to the deputy commissioners of each of the 19 districts, the state minister said.
Delowar Hossain, the acting deputy commissioner (DC) of Chittagong, said they have prepared 2,739 cyclone centres and are warning residents of the coastal areas.
Satkhira DC SM Mostafa Kamal said about 137 government cyclone centres and non-government shelters have been prepared. Besides, 3,655 volunteers are ready in Shyamnagar and Ashashuni upazilas.
Meanwhile, authorities have taken necessary measures to protect 11 kilometres of risky embankment under the Water Development Board (WDB) in the district.
Volunteers are alerting people using loudspeakers in the coastal upazilas of Shyamnagar, Ashashuni and Kaliganj, while red flags have been raised in each union.
Emergency aid, dry food, drinkable water, children’s food and other safety materials have been stored to deal with any exigency, officials said.
Members of Fire Service, Bangladesh Coast Guard, Border Guard Bangladesh, Ansar and VDP, Red Crescent, Scout Team and volunteers have been put on alert.
In Khulna, DC Helal Hossain said 282 shelters have been kept ready.
At least 1,250 volunteers in the Koyra upazila, 1,135 in the Dakope upazila and 1,000 in Paikgachha and 114 medical teams are also ready.
In Bhola, DC Md Masum Alam Siddique in an emergency meeting on Thursday said, his administration has taken all necessary measures to face any situation.
At least 657 cyclone centres and 39 “Mujib Kella” are ready to take in people affected by the cyclone.
An amount of Tk5 lakh as an emergency aid, 200 tons of rice, 2,500 bags of dry food have also been stored, while 92 medical teams are ready in the district.
In Pirojpur, DC Abu Ali Md Sajjad Hossain said his administration has prepared 193 cyclone centres around the district. An emergency aid of Tk5 lakh, 200 tons of rice, 2,000 packets of dry food and water-purifying tablets as relief have been allotted.
Department of Disaster Management has suspended leave and asked all of its employees to stay on station.
Lutfun Nahar, deputy director of the department, in a notice issued on Tuesday, said all Met Offices and control rooms will remain open for 24 hours, while additional manpower will be deployed to tackle the cyclone.
Forces are alert
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Army Chief of Staff General Aziz Ahmed has said that all divisions and area headquarters are alert to tackle the effect and possible losses of Fani.
“All divisions and area headquarters of the Bangladesh Army have been put on standby as cyclone Fani is approaching towards the Bangladesh territory crossing the Odisha coast,” he told reporters after an event at Savar Cantonment.
He said the concerned divisions of the army are maintaining round-the-clock communication with the respective civil administrations in this regard.
General Aziz added: “We are fully ready to face pre, during and post cyclone storm situations.”
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has also ordered all concerned departments, law enforcement agencies, and local administrations to be on high-alert to engage right after Fani hits.