• Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:19 am

Cyclone Bulbul approaches Bangladesh, rain in coastal areas

Cyclone Bulbul
Satellite image of Cyclone 'Bulbul' Windy app

The cyclone is likely to hit Bangladesh on Saturday

Rainfall has begun in the coastal districts such as Bhola, Patualkhali, Satkhira, Noakhali and Bagerhat as the cyclonic storm Bulbul along the Bay of Bengal approaches towards Bangladesh.

The rainfall in the districts began on Friday morning.

In Bhola, some regions have faced heavy showers of rain. District administration have taken various precautions including preparing 668 cyclone shelters and keeping 92 medical teams ready in hand due to the approaching cyclone.

Apart from this, eight control rooms were opened in seven upazilas, including sadar upazila of the districts. Holidays of all government officials and staffs were cancelled, and Red Crescent and Cyclone Preparedness Program volunteers have been working to raise awareness among people.

An emergency meeting was held at Bhola Deputy Commissioner Masud Alam's office for cyclone preparedness. He said: "We are taking maximum precautions to tackle Cyclone Bulbul. Our upazila nirbahi officers (UNO) have already sent relief food to various cyclone shelters." 

Bhola CPP Deputy Director Md Shahabuddin Miah said: "The maritime ports were asked to hoist local cautionary signal number four. We are still unclear where the cyclone is going to hit."

In Satkhira, some slight drizzling has been reported in various areas of the district, including Shymnagar, as Ashashuni due to the cyclone. Ports were asked to hoist the cautionary signal number four.

Satkhira Met Office official Zulfikar Ali Ripon said: "Cyclone Bulbul was lurking 575km away from the Mongla Port. It can cross this region on Saturday." 

Satkhira Additional Deputy Commissioner Md Badiuzzaman said: "Around 137 cyclone shelters were established due to the storm. Apart from this, fishing boats were cautioned to not venture into deep sea."

In Bagerhat, slight rainfall has been triggered by the imminent cyclone and the declaration of cautionary signal number four has postponed the Ras Mela, a religious festival of the Hindu community, in Dublar Char of the Sundarbans.

Confirming the matter to Dhaka Tribune, Ras Mela Celebration Committee General Secretary Pradeep Basu Shantu said: "Ras Mela takes place on the full-moon night of the Bangla months of Karthik or Agrahayan every year. The decision of postponing the celebration was made due to adverse weather."

In an emergency meeting held by the district's Disaster Management Committee, it was decided that all kinds of permits to enter the Sundarbans will be suspended for the time being.

In Patuakhali, Payra port was advised to hoist the warning signal number 4 whereas the cyclone precipitated some small droplets of rain in some areas of the district.

Trawler Owners' Association President Mannan of Kalapara upazila said fishermen have started returning to shelter as the sea has become rough because of the storm. However, no accident has been reported so far.

Patuakhali Met Office official Md Bashir Ahmed said the cyclone is likely to hit the region on Saturday midnight.

In Noakhali, the impact of the cyclone has left the sky cloudy and triggered rainfall in some parts of the district. 

Deputy Commissioner Tanmoy Das said: "Control rooms were opened in some of the coastal upazilas, including Subarnachar, Hatiya, and Companiganj after an emergency meeting this morning."

Noakhali Civil Surgeon Dr Mominur Rahman said: "We have kept enough medical teams ready for the impending cyclone."

Subarnachar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) ASM Ibnul Hasan Iven said: "All fishing boats and trawlers have been advised to remain very close to the coast and proceed with caution so that they can take shelter within short notice."

The severe cyclonic storm Bulbul may affect the maritime ports, North Bay and coastal areas of Bangladesh.

Official of Khulna Met office Amirul Azad, confirming the matter, said the storm might make landfall over Khulna sometime on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Meteorological Department has asked maritime ports of Mongla and Payra to hoist danger signal number seven, and port of Chittagong to hoist danger signal number six, due to the very severe cyclonic storm Bulbul.

At a special weather bulletin on Friday evening, the Met office advised the three maritime ports to lower its earlier local warning signal no four.

Maritime port of Cox’s Bazar has been advised to keep hoisting local warning signal number four, the bulletin said.

According to the Met office, Bulbul, situated over west-central bay and adjoining east-central bay moved northwards, intensified further and now lies over northwest bay and adjoining west-central bay.

At 6pm, the very severe cyclonic storm was centred about 620km southwest of Chittagong port, 585km southwest of Cox’s Bazar port, 495km southwest of Mongla port, and 490km southwest of Payra port.