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Mahasen: Ports asked to hoist signal four

  • Published at 01:30 pm May 14th, 2013
Mahasen: Ports asked to hoist signal four

The cyclonic storm “Mahasen” over southeast bay and adjoining southwest bay moved slightly northwestwards over the same area.

It was centred at 6am at Tuesday about 1,055 km south-southwest of Chittagong Port, 990 km south-southwest of Cox’s Bazar Port and 94 km south-southwest of Mongla Port.

It is likely to intensify further and move in a northerly direction, said a Met office special bulletin.

It said maximum sustained wind speed within 54 kms of the storm centre is about 62 kph rising to 88 kph in gusts/squalls. Sea will remain very rough near the storm centre.

All fishing boats, trawlers and marine vessels over the North Bay and deep sea have been advised to come close to the coast and remain near the coast so that they can take shelter within short notice.

The government on Monday instructed deputy commissioners (DC) and upazila nirbahi officers (UNO) to open control rooms in every district and upazilas for taking necessary actions in view the cyclonic storm “Mahasen” approaching the country’s coast.

The authorities also advised maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and Mongla to hoist local warning signal number four.

People have been asked to call to the control rooms at 02-8818738, 02-9855933 and 01759114488 while fax at 02-8819353.

Meanwhile, alert-2 has been issued at the Chittagong port after the Met Office asked the three maritime ports to hoist local warning signal number four.

The government has taken the precautionary measure to tackle the oncoming cyclone “Mahasen” and reduce the loss of lives and assets in the 322 flood and cyclone prone unions under the 13 coastal districts of Bangladesh.

At least 50,000 trained volunteers have been prepared and kept on alert in this regard.

Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Mesbah Ul Alam stated the ministry’s precautions while addressing reporters after a “disaster management coordination meeting” was held at the ministry yesterday.

He said: “We have allocated 5,000 tents and 7,000 saree and lungi as supplies in case of emergency. We have already supplied sufficient food grain as support for the affected people.”

Commenting on the monitoring of the cyclone, he said: “The National Disaster Response Coordination Cell will centrally monitor the overall situation during the cyclone.”

Director of Bangladesh Meteorological Department Md Shah Alam said: “We are not yet sure when and where the cyclone will hit as it is still 1,300km away from Chittagong seaport, 1,230km away from Cox’s Bazar seaport and 1,220km away from Mongla seaport.

“It is now moving only at 12km per hour. If the cyclone continues to move at this speed, it will take time to hit but it may change its speed soon as it is moving towards the coast.”

He further said: “If the cyclone hits tonight, it may strike the coasts between the Bangladesh and Myanmar border but if it hits tomorrow, at the current speed, it may either hit Chittagong or Sundarban area.”

“We are keenly observing the cyclone and by tomorrow we will be sure of its movement,” he added.

Mesbah Ul Alam said the government has already hoisted precautionary signal number four for the people who are residing in the Chittagong and Sundarban areas. “We are communicating with the fishermen, local community leaders and concerned authorities at the possible strike zones of the cyclone and they are prepared to face any challenge.”

The secretary further said: “The disaster management volunteers are sending messages to the people of those areas, asking them to be prepared with dry food and be ready to shift towards the cyclone shelters allocated in the areas at any time.”