• Sunday, Nov 01, 2020
  • Last Update : 03:10 am

Cyclone Amphan intensifies in coastal areas while about two million people evacuates

  • Published at 01:09 pm May 20th, 2020
Officials from the district administration of Khulna warning and calling out people to take shelter at the designated shelter houses

All major maritime ports of Bangladesh have been asked to hoist great danger signal number ten as extremely severe Cyclone Amphan moves closer to the coast

Around two million people have been evacuated from Bangladesh's coastal regions, as the nation waits for Cyclone Amphan to hit on Wednesday evening -- according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department’s Storm Warning Center.

All major maritime ports of Bangladesh have been asked to hoist great danger signal number ten as extremely severe Cyclone Amphan moves closer to the coast.

According to a special bulletin from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department’s Storm Warning Center at 9am Wednesday, the coastal districts of Noakhali, Feni, Chittagong, Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira, Barguna, Patuakhali and Cox’s Bazar their offshore islands and chars will come under great danger.

The water level has risen and mild to moderate rain has started to pour on the areas with a heavy wind transferring into the cyclonic storm.

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Thousands of people took shelter on nearest shelter homes as the extremely severe cyclone Amphan hits the coastal areas

In Khulna, the water level of the surrounding rivers in Paikgacha, Dacope, Koyra areas rose above the danger level as the deadly cyclone approaches the district while the local administration was able to take around 60,000 people at the 349 designated shelters to ensure safety to the people.

Although, The 814 shelters can capacitate 5 lakhs of people and 116 medical teams were prepared to ensure medical help and social distancing to the locals, yet they were hard to convince to take shelter despite a multitude of warnings and calls, said UNO Abdul Wadud of Dacope upazila.

“Several embankments are already damaged by the high tides and the cyclone did not even hit the areas in full swing yet. We do not know how fierce it will be but we fear the worst, said Polash Kumar Banarjee, executive engineer of Khulna units Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB).

In Barguna, around 2 lakhs people of Sadar, Betagi, Amtoli, Taltoli, Patharghata, Bamna upazilas are under huge risk as the high tides are hitting the river embankments hard and moderate rain is approaching which is yet to be intensified by the day, said the local administration authority. 

Embankments started to get damaged in Cox's Bazar by the high tides from the cyclonic storm

The water from the high tide in Bishkhali, Buriswar and Balesh rivers is flowing 33 centimetres above the danger level in Barguna till Wednesday 11am in the morning which will reach its full swing as the cyclone approaches the areas, confirmed BWDB official Mahtab Hossain.

“We have prepared 610 shelter homes, 42 medical teams and eight emergency control rooms to ensure safety to the locals. Despite all the preparations and warnings it is hard to convince them about the intensity of the deadly cyclone but we are trying our best, said Barguna DC Mustain Billah.

In Satkhira, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of the district SM Mostafa Kamal said several thousand people of Shyamnagar and Ashashuni upazilas have been evacuated to cyclone centres.

Control rooms have been opened in all the unions and upazilas while 250 metric tonnes of rice and Tk 12 lakh cash have been allocated, he said. Meanwhile, many people have taken shelter in 1,272 cyclone centres of the district while some others in schools and mosques.

ANM Abujar Gifari, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Shyamnagar upazila, said 65,000 people of coastal areas in the upazila have moved to cyclone centres.

In Patuakhali, the maritime port Payra has been declared under the great danger signal number 10 as the super cyclone approaches the district, confirmed the district authority.

Around four lakh people have taken shelter in the 753 shelter homes while the super cyclone awaits only 370 kilometres away from the district, that may hit the locality around Wednesday evening, said DC Motiul Islam Chowdhury.

Meanwhile, five villages of Rangabali upazila of the district have been inundated as local embankments broke away in pre-Amphan cyclonic tidal surge, said Rangabali Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mashfikur Rahman.

Besides, some areas of Galachipa upazila have flooded due to tidal surge, reports our Patuakhali correspondent.

In Chittagong, Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) hoisted its own highest alert number 4 after the Met office asked the maritime port of Chittagong to hoist great danger signal number nine.

As per the Cyclone Disaster Preparedness and Post-Cyclone Rehabilitation Plan of 1992, Chittagong Port Authority hoists four types of alert.

To avert possible damage from the cyclonic storm, all vessels anchored at the jetties and outer anchorage of the port have been sent to deep seas for safe harbour and all types loading and unloading activities from the vessels have remained suspended after issuing alert No.4.

Meanwhile,64,000 people have so far been moved to the shelters in Chittagong and District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Shojib Kumar Chakraborty confirmed that some 4046 shelters were kept ready to fight the cyclonic storm.

“As a precaution, 284 medical teams, necessary medicines and 15,000 volunteers have been kept ready to combat the cyclone. So far, 1951 shelters have been opened while 64,000 people have been evacuated in the district,” said the official.

In Jhalokati, 10,000 people and hundreds of domestic animals have taken shelter in the 474 shelter houses as the cyclonic storm fiercely hits the district and waterlog the lower areas damaging the embankments.

“Medical teams are in action to maintain social distancing among the people and reliefs have been distributed to the people,” said Deputy Collector Ahmed Hasan.

In Cox’s Bazar, around 3,00,000 people have taken shelter in hundreds of shelter houses in the district while 20,000 volunteers are ready to help the poor people.

The severity of the high tidal waves and the heavy wind has started engulfing the northern district and the district administration has hoisted the great danger signal No-10, confirmed the DC office.

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